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BJP announces 15 Lok Sabha candidates in Gujarat, drops Surendranagar MP

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 23, 2019  | 22:52 IST

Ahmedabad, Mar 23 (PTI) The BJP renominated its 14 sitting MPs in Gujarat and dropped the parliamentarian from Surendranagar as it announced its 15 more candidates for the Lok Sabha polls on Saturday. The party had earlier declared the candidature of its chief Amit Shah from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat, held multiple times by BJP patriarch L K Advani. The total number of candidates announced for Gujarat now stands at 16. The state has 26 seats, all held by the BJP. Surendranagar MP Devji Fatehpara has been denied a ticket and has been replaced by Mahendra Munjpara, also from the Koli community. Munjpara has held various party positions in the district BJP, party spokesperson Prashant Vala said. Bharuch MP Mansukh Vasava and Rajkot MP Mohan Kundariya, who were dropped from the Narendra Modi government in July, 2016, have been repeated from the two seats. The BJP has re-nominated Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Jashvantsinh Bhabhor from Dahod (ST) seat and K C Patel from Valsad (ST) seat. Ranjanben Bhatt will once again contest from Vadodara, having won from there after PM Modi vacated the seat and chose to retain Varanasi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The ruling party has also repeated Punamben Madam from Jamanagar seat, where the Congress is planning to field Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel. Other leaders who have been re-nominated are Naran Kachhadia from Amreli, C R Patil from Navsari, Vinod Chavda from Kutch SC seat, Dipsinh Rathod from Sabarkantha, Kirit Solanki from Ahmedabad West (SC) seat, Bhartiben Shiyal from Bhavnagar and Prabhu Vasava from Bardoli (ST) seat. "The BJP has been ahead of opposition parties in declaring candidates and our campaign will start from Saturday," Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said. He added that the rest of the names would be declared by the party soon. It also announced candidates for three of the five Assembly seats that will witness bypolls on the same day as the Lok Sabha elections on April 23. Jawahar Chavda and Parsotam Sabariya, both Congress MLAs who had resigned from the Assembly and joined the BJP, have been given tickets from Manavadar and Dhangradhra respectively. Raghavji Patel will contest from Jamnagar Rural assembly seat. Vallabh Dharaviya, who was the Congress MLA from the seat before switching over to the BJP, has, however, not been given a ticket. The opposition Congress has so far named candidates for four seats in the state. PTI PD BNM SMN SMN

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