Modi has so far not given any signals whether he will be contesting from Varanasi, Vadodara or Ahmedabad East. This may be because Varanasi MP Murli Manohar Joshi has made it clear to the BJP high command that he wants to contest from his constituency once again.

On Thursday, the BJP Central Election Committee chose not to take up any of Uttar Pradesh’s 80 and Gujarat's 26 constituencies.

There are reports that BJP president Rajnath Singh is all set to shift to Lucknow from Ghaziabad. But reports suggest that an announcement in this regard will be made only after Modi picks his own constituency.

As of now, even party patriarch Lal Krishna Advani has to wait for confirmation of his candidature from Gandhinagar. It should be noted that Advani has openly expressed his desire to enter the fray from the constituency he has been representing for the last two decades.

It is believed that the BJP’s Central Election Committee will take a final call on the candidates to be fielded from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat during the meeting to be held tomorrow in the national capital.

The third list, which was released on Thursday after the CEC meet in New Delhi, named 97 candidates including former home secretary RK Singh and former RJD leader Ram Kripal Yadav.

Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha’s son Jayant Sinha will contest from Hazaribagh whereas late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan’s daughter and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha secretary Poonam Mahajan will contest from Mumbai North-Central constituency against Congress MP Priya Dutt.

"The decision was taken after senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha expressed his desire not to contest elections due to his age and said he will continue to serve the party by remaining out of electoral politics," BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar said.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, will contest from Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh, former RJD leader Ram Kripal Yadav will fight against Lalu Prasad's daughter Misa Bharti from Pataliputra constituency in Bihar.

Former Janata Dal (U) leader and sitting MP Sushil Singh, who recently joined the BJP, has been given the Aurangabad seat. He will contest the elections against Congress MP Nikhil Kumar.

Former home secretary RK Singh, who joined the BJP after his retirement from service, will be in fray in Arrah Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar. BJP’s prominent Muslim face Shahnawaz Hussain will contest from his Bhagalpur constituency, while Rajya Sabha member Rajiv Pratap Rudy will fight from Saran Lok Sabha seat.

The BJP said the candidate for Patna Saheb seat in Bihar will be decided after consultations with sitting MP Shatrughan Sinha.

Former Rajya Sabha member SS Ahluwalia has been fielded by the party from Darjeeling seat in West Bengal while Sumitra Mahajan will contest from Indore constituency in Madhya Pradesh.

In Madhya Pradesh, state BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar will contest from Gwalior seat.

The party on Thursday finalized a total of 97 candidates in 11 states, including 25 in Bihar, 24 in Madhya Pradesh, 13 in Jharkhand, 14 in Kerala, 7 in West Bengal, 6 in Assam, 5 in Karnataka and 2 in Maharashtra.

This was the third list of BJP nominees. The first two lists had featured 106 candidates. With this, the BJP has declared a total of 203 candidates.

(JPN)

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