Hours after actor-turned-lawmaker and former Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Prada joined the BJP on Tuesday, the ruling party declared her as its candidate for Rampur Lok Sabha seat, where her bitter rival, senior SP leader and Uttar Pradesh MLA Azam Khan, is the opposition alliance candidate and expected to be her biggest challenger.
The BJP denied ticket to the party’s sitting MP from Rampur, Nepal Singh.
The Congress on Tuesday declared party secretary Sanjay Kapoor as its candidate from Rampur.
In its list of 29 candidates for Uttar Pradesh released on Tuesday, the BJP denied candidature to six sitting MPs. Follow more election news here.
The party switched seats of Union minister and Pilibhit MP Maneka Gandhi with her MP-son Varun’s constituency — Sultanpur. Pilibhit is seen as a relatively safe seat for the family. Varun had contested, and won, from Pilibhit in 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Jaya Prada, then with the SP, had won from Rampur in 2004 and 2009 elections. She, along with her political mentor Amar Singh, then an influential leader in the SP, had subsequently left the party. Jaya Prada contested 2014 elections unsuccessfully from Bijnor as an RLD candidate.
The BJP denied ticket to sitting Etawah MP (reserved for Scheduled Castes) Ashok Kumar Doharey and fielded Agra MP Ramashankar Katheria from the seat. In another reserved constituency, Barabanki, sitting MP Priyanka Singh Rawat has been dropped in favour of Upendra Rawat.
Kanpur MP and former BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi was also dropped. Satyadev Pachauri, a UP minister, will be the party candidate from the seat.
BJP’s Allahabad MP Shyama Charan Gupta, who was recently declared the SP nominee for Banda, has been replaced by Rita Bahuguna Joshi, another minister in the Adityanath government. Joshi had unsuccessfully contested against senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh from Lucknow in the last General Election.
In SP bastion Kannauj, the BJP repeated its 2014 candidate Subrat Pathak, who had lost to SP’s Dimple Yadav, who will contest again.
With Bahraich MP Savitri Bai Phoole joining the Congress earlier this month, party loyalist Akshaywarlal Gaud was declared the BJP candidate from the constituency. Gaud will take on Phoole, and SP’s Shabbir Balmiki from Bahraich.
The BJP denied ticket to Kushi Nagar MP Rajesh Pandey, replacing him with Vijay Dubey, and Ballia MP Bharat Singh, naming Virendra Singh Mast, the sitting MP from Bhadohi, instead. The BJP’s list names the party’s UP unit chief Mahendra Nath Pandey from Chandauli — he is the sitting MP. Other sitting MPs who have been repeated are in Dhaurahra, Faizabad, Farrukhabad, Akbarpur, Jalaun, Hamirpur, Fatehpur, Kaushambi, Kaiserganj, Shrawasti, Gonda, Domariyaganj, Basti, Maharajganj, Bansgaon, Salempur and Ghazipur.
The party also declared 10 candidates for West Bengal.