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Lok Sabha elections: BJP releases first candidate list, PM Narendra Modi to contest from Varanasi

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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday released its first list of 195 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest the polls from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi seat, which he has represented since 2014, the party said. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will contest from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, a seat he won in 2019.

In Uttar Pradesh, the party has given the election ticket to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from his traditional Lucknow seat. Party leader Smriti Irani will again contest from Amethi, where she defeated Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in 2019.

The party retained Hema Malini as its candidate in Mathura and Ajay Mishra in Kheri. In October 2021, a vehicle belonging to Mishra’s son had allegedly run over a group of farmers during a protest, killing four persons in the Lakhimpur Kheri district. Mishra had claimed that the farmers threw stones at the vehicle, which led to the “accident”.

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will fight from the state’s Vidhisha Lok Sabha seat, party General Secretary Vinod Tawde said. Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has been fielded from Guna, a seat he held between 2002 and 2019.

In Bhopal, the Hindutva party replaced its MP Pragya Thakur with Alok Sharma. In May 2019, Thakur had called Mahatma Gandhi’s...

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