The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday named former Army Chief V K Singh as its Lok Sabha candidate from Ghaziabad, a seat represented by party chief Rajnath Singh earlier. The party made a formal announcement in this regard and came out with a list carrying Singh's name along with that of Shibun Lyngdoh who has been fielded from Shillong Lok Sabha constituency.
Singh replaces Rajnath Singh, who has since moved to Lucknow constituency, and will face Congress' actor-turned-politician Raj Bhabbar and AAP's Shazia Ilmi. However, a number of BJP workers from Ghaziabad came out to protest against his candidature outside the party headquarters even before his name was made official.
Party general secretary Ananth Kumar said the BJP chief approved the recommendations of Meghalaya and Uttar Pradesh state election committees on the candidates declared on Tuesday. Gen Singh's name was discussed at the previous meeting of the party's Central Election Committee on March 15 when his candidature was finalised for the seat which has a sizeable number of Jat voters.
Singh, who recently joined the saffron outfit, accepted the party's offer.The BJP was actively considering the name of Muzaffarnagar riot-accused Sangeet Som's name for the seat, but Gen Singh's name finally found favour with the party leadership.
The former army chief had faced the heat of a section of BJP workers during his visit to Ghaziabad yesterday. Nearly half-an-hour after he reached the party's ofice in Ghaziabad on Monday evening, some workers started raising slogans against him. There was also heated arguments between supporters of the former army chief and his "rivals". Asked about his candidature, Gen Singh had said, "I will contest elections from wherever the party would ask me to."