Members of a team, close to the BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi, arrived in Varanasi on Wednesday reportedly to prepare for the celebrations after his name is announced as candidate from the India’s holiest city on Thursday.
This strengthening the speculation that Modi would finally stand from Varanasi. Getting Modi to stand from Varanasi would create a buzz for the party in the country’s most populous and electorally crucial state, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats.
Earlier, the BJP has left the choice of whether to stand from Varanasi to Modi himself, with his closest aide Amit Shah keen for him to do so but a section of the party suggesting he stick to the safety of his native Gujarat.
Ahmedabad East, Navsari and Surat are seen as safe seats for Modi in Gujarat.
Modi is expected to convey his decision to party chief Rajnath Singh before the Central Election Committee, which will then rubberstamp his choice. However, sitting MP from Varanasi Murli Manohar Joshi is reluctant to leave his seat.
The BJP is expected to announce on Thursday its candidates for more than 100 Lok Seats of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and others. It may also take call on Delhi, which goes to poll on April 10.
Sources claimed Allahabad and Lucknow are two probable seats for Modi. Since Rajnath Singh, the sitting MP from Ghaziabad, also wants to shift to Lucknow, it was quite unlikely that Modi will lay his claim there.
Allahabad, sources claimed, was not a ‘safe’ seat. Those privy to the matter said, “It is Modi who will take a call now. The party will go by his decision”.
In Bihar, the party will field Sushil Singh of JD(U) and Ramkripal Yadav of RJD from Aurangabad and Patliputra respectively. Former Union Minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain is certain to get a re-nomination from Bhagalpur while former Home Secretary RK Singh is a probable from Arrah. Majority of the sitting MPs will get poll ticket.
Former union minister Uma Bharti is a probable from Jhansi while SP leader DP Saroj, who joined BJP recently, may contest from Lalganj. Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh may be fielded against Union Minister Ajit Singh in Bagpat. Congress MP from Domariyaganj Jagdambika Pal is likely to join the BJP on Friday and might be fielded from the same seat.
Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi is almost certain to be fielded from Sultanpur while his mother Maneka Gandhi will return to Pilibhit.
Varun had ruffled many feathers in Uttar Pradesh BJP by kicking off his campaign in Sultanpur months ago.
He even invited former party president Nitin Gadkari to one such rally in Sultanpur and has not attended Modi’s rally in Uttar Pradesh.