The BJP on Thursday announced its first list of candidates for 16 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan, banking on most of its sitting MPs from the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Of the 16 candidates, 14 are incumbent MPs who have been fielded once again from their respected constituencies. The lone sitting MP dropped is Jhunjhunu MP Santosh Ahlawat — the only woman parliamentarian from Rajasthan. Ahlawat has been replaced by Narendra Khinchal.
In Ajmer — a Lok Sabha seat that the BJP lost last year to the Congress’ Raghu Sharma after bypolls were necessitated following the death of parliamentarian Sanwar Lal Jat — the BJP has fielded Bhagirath Chaudhary.
The announcement has also ended speculations of former chief minister Vasundhara Raje contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Jhalawar-Baran seat. Her son Dushyant Singh — the sitting MP from Jhalawar-Baran — has once again been fielded from the constituency.
The other BJP candidates are Nihal Chand Chauhan from Ganganagar, Arjun Ram Meghwal from Bikaner, Sumedhanand Saraswati from Sikar, Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore from Jaipur Rural, Ramcharan Bohra from Jaipur City, Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, P P Chaudhary from Pali, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Jodhpur, Devji Mansingram Patel from Jalore, Arjunlal Meena from Udaipur, C P Joshi from Chittorgarh, Subhash Chandra Baheria from Bhilwara, and Om Birla from Kota.
The Congress is yet to announce its candidates for the elections. Rajasthan goes to polls on April 29 and May 6.