The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday announced the names of seven candidates for the parliamentary constituencies of Uttar Pradesh. In its 21st list of candidates for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the BJP announced the candidature of Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan from Gorakhpur and Praveen Nishad from Sant Kabir Nagar. The party has denied a ticket to sitting Sant Kabir Nagar MP Sharad Tripathi who recently beat up a party MLA with shoes in full view of cameras.
In 2014, the saffron party had won the Gorakhpur seat but lost it in the by-election after SP and BSP came to an understanding and fielded only one candidate to avoid the division of votes. It was a stunning blow to the ruling party as Gorakhpur was considered to be a stronghold of the BJP as its firebrand leader and current Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had been representing it since 1998.
The seat fell vacant after Adityanath was elected as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Interestingly, the man who defeated the saffron party in the high-stakes battle is Praveen Nishad, and he is now with the same party he stunned in 2018. Nishad, who won the high-profile seat as the SP candidate with support from BSP, recently joined the BJP.
In the last elections, Adityanath had won the seat by over three lakh votes. In the by-election, the BJP lost it to SP by a very narrow margin. Adityanath had secured 5,39,127 votes with 51.80 per cent vote share that came down to 4,56,513 votes with 48 per cent vote share in by-polls in 2018.
Apart from Kishan and Nishad, the BJP has named Sangam Lal Gupta from Pratapgarh, Mukut Bihari from Ambedkar Nagar, Ramapati Ram Tripathi from Deoria, KP Singh from Jaunpur and Ramesh Bind from Bhadohi. The BJP has so far announced candidates for 420 Lok Sabha seats for the seven-phase elections which began earlier this month and will continue till May 19.