DESPITE AN advise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to party leaders against asking for tickets for their family members, names of sons and daughters of several heavyweight BJP leaders appeared in the second list of 155 candidates that the party released on Sunday. Turncoats who joined the BJP recently also got tickets.
For the politically important seat of Amethi, the BJP gave the ticket to Garima Singh, the estranged first wife of Congress Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh. Garima’ son Anant Vikram Singh joined the BJP in December 2014 and has been active in the party. This will be Garima’s first election. Sanjay’s second wife Amita had contested from the same seat in 2012 as a Congress nominee and lost.
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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s elder son Pankaj Singh will contest his first election from Noida. Pankaj is also the party’s state general secretary. Kairana MP Hukum Singh’s daughter Mriganka Singh got the ticket from Kairana, which the BJP lost in the 2014 by-election. In the by-election, Anil Chauhan, the grandson of one of Hukum Singh’s cousin, contested as the BJP nominee but lost. This time, Chauhan is contesting as the RLD candidate from the same seat. Lucknow East MLA Gopal Tandon, son of former Lok Sabha MP Lalji Tandon, got the ticket from the same seat.
Sunil Dutt Dwivedi, who got the ticket from Farrukhabad, is the son of former minister Prabha Dwivedi and slain BJP leader Brahm Dutt Dwivedi.
BJP’s Kaiserganj MP Braj Bhushan Sharan Singh’s son Prateek Bhushan got the ticket from Gonda Sadar. The BJP also gave ticket to Rampratap Verma from Utraula in Balrampur district. Rampratap is the son of former party MLA Shyamlal Verma, who lost the election from the same seat in 2012.
Former BSP MP Ganga Charan Rajpur’s son, Brijbhushan Rajpoot, got the ticket from Charkhari in Mahoba district. Ganga’s another son, Akhil, had lost a by-election from the same seat in 2015. The party fielded Neelima Katiyar from Kalyanpur. Neelima’s mother Premlata is a former MLA who lost election the seat in 2012.
Former senior BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya’s son Utkrasht got the ticket from Unchahar in Rae Bareli. Utkrasht had lost in 2012 as a BSP nominee. Among the turncoats, former Congress state president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who joined the BJP a few months ago, got the ticket from Lucknow Cantonment, which she won in 2012 on a Congress ticket. Former BSP MP Brajesh Pathak, who joined the BJP last year, got the ticket from Lucknow Central.
Madhuri Verma, Congress MLA from Nanpara in Bahraich, got the BJP ticket from the same seat. She joined the BJP in August, after the Congress expelled her for anti-party activities.