The BJP on Wednesday came out with its second list of 72 more candidates for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, fielding union ministers including Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal and Anurag Singh Thakur and former Chief Ministers Manohar Lal Khattar, Trivendra Singh Rawat and Basavaraj Bommai to achieve its ambitious target of 370 seats to retain power for the third consequtive term.

Nitin Gadkari has been fielded from Nagpur while Piyush Goyal will contest from Mumbai North and Anurag Thakur from Hamirpur.

The Central leadership also decided to pitch BJP chief spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Anil Baluni from Garhwal in Uttarakhand. The candidates declared, after the BJP central election committee meeting held on February 11, are from nine states – Gujarat (7 seats), Madhya Pradesh (5 seats), Telangana ( 6 seats), Maharashtra (20 seats), Haryana ( 6 seats), Himachal Pradesh ( 2 seats), Karnataka ( 20 seats), Uttarakhand (2 seats), Tripura ( 1 seat) –and two union territories – Delhi ( 2 seats) and Dadar and Nagar Haveli (1 seat).

Prominent faces

The BJP has dropped prominent faces from Karnataka. For instance, former Union Minister Sadananda Gowda was not considered from Bangalore North. Instead, Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje has been shifted from Udupi Chikmagalur to contest from Bangalore North.

Likewise, the party has also not given ticket to Mysore MP Pratap Simha who courted controversy recently after his office gave passes to persons who intruded into parliament building. In his place, the BJP gave ticket to Mysore royal family member Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar.

Union minister Pralhad Joshi will fight from Dharwad, while former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra will fight from Shimoga and Tejasvi Surya, the BJP’s youth wing chief, will seek re-election from Bengaluru South.

In Delhi, which saw the maximum reshuffle of candidates, Harsh Malhotra has been given chance since cricketer and siting BJP MP Gautam Gambhir opted out of politics. For North West Delhi, which is a reserved seat, the party has decided to field Yogendra Chandolia, ignoring Hansraj owing to anti-incumbency against him.

In the first list, the BJP had announced more than 190 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, due in April-May.