J.P. Nadda said remaining candidates from Punjab would be announced later.
New Delhi: The BJP on Thursday announced names of 17 candidates for Punjab and 29 candidates for Goa, the two states where single phase polling will take place on February 4. Among the prominent names that appeared in the two lists included that of Goa chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar from Mandrem and party’s national secretary Tarun Chugh from Amritsar Central.
In Punjab, where the BJP is currently sharing power with senior ally SAD, it will contest on 23 seats, while the remaining 94 of the 117 seats will be contested by the SAD, as per the seat-sharing arrangement. With Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency falling vacant after the resignation of Congress leader Capt. Amarinder Singh, the BJP has named Rajendra Mohan Chhina as its candidate for the bypoll on this parliamentary seat which is also slated for February 4. SAD-BJP is locked in a tough battle with the Congress and the AAP, which has emerged as a formidable third force in the state.
Of the six constituencies in Punjab where the BJP’s central election committee withheld the announcement, it includes leaders who are ministers in the Parkash Singh Badal-led government. Indications are that some of them could be replaced as they have crossed the party’s age bar of 75 years. Five sitting MLAs are among the 17 candidates announced on Thursday and the BJP has 12 MLAs in the outgoing Assembly.
Union minister J.P. Nadda, who is also party’s CEC secretary, said remaining candidates from Punjab would be announced later.
From the Amritsar East seat, a seat held by former BJP leader Navjot Kaur Sidhu, the BJP has fielded Rajesh Hani. Dr Sidhu has joined the Congress and her husband and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Siddhu, is also expected to join the Congress.
The five MLAs in the list are Dinesh Singh Babbu, Seema Kumari, Ashwani Sharma, K.D. Bhandari and Sukhjeet Kaur Sahi from Sujanpur, Bhoa, Pathankot, Jalandhar North and Dasuya constituencies, respectively.
In the Goa list, sitting MLA and deputy Speaker Vishnu Surya Wagh, who had last year suffered a cardiac arrest, has been replaced by Ramrao Surya Wagh. Deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza has also be renominated from Mapusa. The party has renominated 19 MLAs, including the CM, in its first list of Goa. There are total 40 Assembly constituencies in the state.
Releasing the list, Mr Nadda said the party has given representation to all communities and added that it is considering putting up candidates for all the 40 seats.
In Goa, the Maharashtrawadi Goman-tak Party (MGP) recently snapped its tie with the BJP, whose chief minister had last year dropped two MGP leaders from his Cabinet.