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Vajpayee to contest from Lucknow, Advani from Gandhinagar

March 14, 2004 18:42 IST
Last Updated: May 10, 2004 20:09 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday announced its first list of 136 candidates for the coming Lok Sabha election that includes Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh.

"Vajpayee will contest from Lucknow and Advani from Gandhinagar," BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan told reporters in Delhi after a four-hour long meeting of the party's Central Election Committee at the prime minister's residence.

Singh would be fielded from Bulandshahar in western Uttar Pradesh while V C Shukla, who merged his Rashtriya Jantantrik Dal with the BJP only on Saturday, has been nominated from Mahasamund in Chhattisgarh.

Maneka Gandhi, who joined the party recently along with son Varun, has been fielded from Pilibhit.

Lalitha Kumaramangalam, sister of late Union minister Rangarajan Kumaramangalam, would be contesting from the lone seat in Pondicherry.

Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Vinay Katiyar has been shifted from Faizabad to Lakhimpur Kheri. "He has been shifted from a winning seat to a lost seat, so that the party can have two seats," Mahajan said.

A total of 83 sitting MPs have been re-nominated while 19 seats have been allocated to Scheduled Castes, 13 to Scheduled Tribes and 12 to women.

The committee also decided to field all senior ministers, including Murli Manohar Joshi (Allahabad), Ram Naik (North Mumbai), Shahnawaz Hussein (Kishanganj) C P Thakur (Patna), Rajiv Pratap Rudi (Chhapra).

Law and Commerce Minister Arun Jaitley, Agriculture Minister Rajnath Singh, Party general secretaries Pramod Mahajan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, besides party in charge for Uttar Pradesh Kalraj Mishra, all Rajya Sabha members, are not contesting and would be concentrating on poll campaign.

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