The Bharatiya Janata Party has released its first list of 184 candidates to contest in 20 different states for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The list was announced by Union Health Minister JP Nadda.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest from Varanasi, while BJP President Amit Shah will contest from Gandhinagar, which is vacated by BJP stalwart LK Advani. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will contest the elections from Lucknow with Nitin Gadkari contesting from Nagpur.
Most of the cabinet ministers and senior leaders of the BJP, who had contested in 2014 polls have retained their constituency. Union Minister VK Singh is all set to contest from Ghaziabad, Hema Malini from Mathura, Sakshi Maharaj from Unnao, and Smriti Irani from Amethi.
The BJP has fielded Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal West constituency, while Dr Jitendra Singh will be fighting from Udampur of Jammu and Kashmir. Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore will contest from Jaipur.
In Karnataka, Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde is fielded from Uttar Kannada constituency, while Dr.Umesh Jadhav is set to take on Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge at Gulbarga. Tamil Nadu BJP President Dr Tamilsai Soundararajan is set to contest from Thoothukkudi (Tuticorin).
Former Governor of Mizoram, Kummanam Rajasekharan will take on Congress leader Shashi Tharoor from Thiruvananthapuram, while Minister Alphons Kannanthanam will be contesting from Ernakulam.
The Bharatiya Janata Party with this announcement of 184 candidates has made gained a massive advantage as opposition parties are still pondering over the selection of candidates. With this announcement, the party cadres of the BJP can begin the preparations for the campaign for their respective candidates and also get sufficient time to analyse the situation on the ground.
The Election Commission announced the dates of the General Election 2019 and the elections will be held in 7 phases instead of 9 phases previously starting from 11th April 2019 to 19th May 2019. The results will be announced on 23rd May 2019.
Interestingly, nearly 900 million voters in this year elections as against 814.5 million in 2014 and out of that, 15 million voters are aged between 18-19 years, presumably, first-time voters will be exercising their right in the upcoming elections.