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BJP Declares Names of 87 Contestants In Bihar

New Delhi, Sep 29 :  The BJP on Tuesday said it would field candidates in 102 constituencies in upcoming Bihar assembly polls- the same number as in the last elections- and declared the names of
PTI September 29, 2010 15:23 IST
PTI
New Delhi, Sep 29 :  The BJP on Tuesday said it would field candidates in 102 constituencies in upcoming Bihar assembly polls- the same number as in the last elections- and declared the names of 87 contestants, including eight women while leaving the rest of the seats to ally JD(U).

The announcement by party general secretary in-charge of Bihar Ananth Kumar that BJP will contest the same number of seats as in 2005 has belied reports that JD-U wanted three more seats than its share of 141 in the 243-member state assembly.

Four sitting MLAs did not get ticket this time but Kumar said this was done due to change in demographic profile of their constituencies after delimitation.

Minister of Environment and Forest Ramji Das Rishidev is the only minister in the Nitish Kumar government to be dropped from the list of candidates. In his place, Parmanand Rishidev has been given ticket from Raniganj seat in Araria district.

Rishidev had won the elections from this constituency in February 2005 but was dropped in the November by-elections from there.

Laxmi Narayan Mehta, who was MLA from Forbesganj has been replaced by famous litterateur Phaneshwar Nath Renu's son Padmaparag Renu, Sri Kishan Singh (Begusarai) has been replaced by Surendra Mehta and Sanjeev Jha (Saharasa) by Alok Jha.

46 sitting MLAs figure in the list of candidates announced today.

"We have finalised the names of 87 candidates after reaching a consensus among all senior party leaders and after consulting our units at the Mandal, district and the Core Group at the state level," Kumar said.

Besides the eight women, 16 Scheduled Caste candidates, one Scheduled Tribe and one minority candidate have been given ticket by the BJP for the for the six-phase Assembly elections beginning on October 21.

"BJP President Nitin Gadkari has been authorised by the Central Election Commission to finalise candidates for the remaining 15 constituencies. The names will be announced in 2-3 days," Kumar said.

 Sources said the decision on some seats was defered as there are too many strong contenders for them.

Prominent candidates in the list include Sukhda Pande (Buxar) who is the national vice-president of BJP, former Bihar minister Ashwini Chaubey (Bhagalpur), former state unit president Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna Sahib), Renu Devi (Bettiah) and Bhagirathi Devi (Ramnagar-SC)- both sitting women MLAs- and Padmaprayag Renu (Forbesganj).

Party sources said some more sitting MLAs may be dropped in the remaining 15 constituencies where candidates are yet to be announced.

BJP candidates had won from 55 constituencies in the 2005 assembly elections and at present their strength is 54.

Two candidates for by-elections in Uttar Pradesh were also announced by the party.

Vinod Mishra (Lakhimpur Nagar) and Rajesh Yadav (Nidholikalan) will be BJP candidates for the assembly by-elections in UP. PTI