BJP officials have confirmed that their prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi will be contesting for the upcoming general assembly elections from the constituency of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
AAP has almost decided to pit former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal against Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls if the BJP's prime ministerial candidate contests from Varanasi. "If Modi contests from Varanasi, then we have almost decided that Arvind Kejriwal will be pitted against him (Modi)," AAP leader Manish Sisodia stated.
However, Modi's candidature from the area seemed very likely from the beginning. Earlier this month, BJP workers ran a signature campaign to press for Modi to stand from Varanasi constituency in the Lok Sabha election. Huge white boards and posters were displayed in Gadaulia where people were asked to sign if they thought Modi should contest the general elections from the constituency.
Interestingly, though, there has been an ongoing internal tussle for the coveted Varanasi seat between Modi and the sitting MP and senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi. This decision will replace Joshi who had been resisting the move, and will move him to Kanpur
Other key BJP candidates:
Rajnath Singh - Lucknow
Harshvardhan - Chandni Chowk
Arun Jaitley - Amritsar
Meenakshi Lekhi - New Delhi
Udit Raj - North West Delhi
Kirron Kher - Chandigarh
Shatrughan Sinha - Patna Sahib
In the party's assessment, Modi's contesting from Varanasi would mean a boost to the party's prospects in the crucial state bordering Bihar. The BJP is also expected to decide on the seven seats of Delhi. The names under consideration include Udit Raj, MJ Akbar, Subramanian Swamy, Mahesh Giri, Vijendra Gupta and Hardeep Puri.