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BJP names 11 more Lok Sabha candidates; Bhartruhari Mahtab from Cuttack, ex-ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu from Amritsar

NEW DELHI: The BJP on Saturday named its candidates for 11 more Lok Sabha constituencies, fielding a number of leaders who joined it from different parties recently such as Bhartruhari Mahtab, Ravneet Singh Bittu, Sushil Kumar Rinku and Preneet Kaur.

All these leaders have been fielded from the seats they represent in the outgoing Lok Sabha.

The party opted for former MLA Dinesh Singh ‘Babbu’ in Gurdaspur in place of actor Sunny Deol, who has long expressed his keenness to opt out of electoral politics.

Former Indian ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu will be making his poll debut from Amritsar, a seat the BJP has made determined efforts earlier to win by fielding Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri in 2019 and Arun Jaitley in 2014 but in vain.

Hans Raj Hans, who had won from North West Delhi in 2019 on a BJP ticket, will contest from the Faridkot seat.

Six-term MP Mahtab, who quit the BJD recently, will contest from Cuttack, three-term MP Bittu from Ludhiana, fourth-term MP Kaur from Patiala, and Rinku from Jalandhar, a seat he won for the first time in a bypoll in 2023.

Both Bittu, the grandson of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, and Kaur, the wife of former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, were in the Congress before joining the BJP, while Rinku was in the Aam Aadmi Party.

The BJP on Sunday named two candidates from West Bengal, three from Odisha and six from Punjab.

It has so far announced its candidates for 411 seats. In West Bengal, it has fielded former IPS officer Debashis Dhar, who had earned the ire of the state government over a host of issues, from Birbhum and Pranat Tudu, who resigned as a government doctor to fight polls, from Jhargram in place of incumbent MP Kunar Hembram.

Hembram had quit the BJP earlier this month.

The party has turned to an organisational leader to retain Punjab’s Gurdaspur, a seat it has often relied on star power to win in the past.

While Deol won the seat in 2019, late actor Vinod Khanna represented the constituency for the BJP in Lok Sabha for four terms. A busy Hindi film actor, Deol has made little contribution as an MP and mostly kept away from parliamentary proceedings and his constituency, causing some embarrassment to the party in Punjab.

 

Source: Press Trust of India

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