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lok sabha election modi to decide chandigarh candidate for bjp
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Lok Sabha Election: Modi to decide Chandigarh candidate for BJP

The Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat has become so significant that the election committee of the BJP has now left it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to decide the candidate it wants to field from here. Sources in the BJP stated that when it was discussed with the national party president as to when the nomination within the BJP is to be declared, the leader stated that “PM Modi will be personally discussing Chandigarh’s seat”. However, considering the tight schedule, this was unclear when the discussion over Chandigarh seat would take place with the PM. The meeting would also have Home Minister Amit Shah and party national president J P Nadda. The BJP’s image had suffered a severe dent after the Chandigarh mayoral elections in which the Supreme Court found nominated councillor Anil Masih on camera “invalidating the votes and declaring BJP candidate as the mayor”. Later, the Supreme Court got the ballot papers produced before itself and counted. It was found that the votes were not invalidated or defaced and they were polled in favour of AAP and Congress alliance candidate Kuldeep Kumar. After the CJI’s observations, the BJP for several days refrained from even commenting on what had happened. Another reason for Chandigarh becoming an extremely hot seat is that AAP and Congress have already announced its alliance, which first began from Chandigarh where the latter even won and that too with the Supreme Court declaring the alliance candidate as the “validly elected mayor”. “Not only the two factors, especially what happened in the Chandigarh mayor elections, considering extreme factionalism within city unit of the saffron party and strong pitching of the fact that a ‘local and a new candidate be fielded’, the party leaders are in a fix and have informed that PM Modi will be personally discussing and deciding the same,” said a senior leader of the BJP. Sources said that even as the local leaders of the party are pressing for a “local candidate”, the dispute and groupism within the party in Chandigarh had urged the high command to contemplate if a candidate be brought from outside. Initially, there was speculation of fielding actress Kangana Ranaut from Chandigarh, who has been fielded from Mandi. Two cricketers were contacted but sources said that they too refused to contest from Chandigarh. Former Chandigarh BJP presidents Sanjay Tandon and Arun Sood, former Union minister Satya Pal Jain were all pressing in their own way that “a local and a new candidate be fielded.” Interestingly, the local election committee sent in four names of these three and former mayor Sarabjit Kaur and surprisingly sitting MP Kirron Kher’s name wasn’t there. She won against Congress leader Pawan Bansal in 2014 and 2019. Congress too leaves it to Mallikarjun Kharge While former Union ministers Pawan Bansal and Manish Tewari are eying the ticket from Chandigarh, the local Congress president has pitched for a new face this time. Since no unanimity could be arrived at the candidature, the party has left it to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to finalise the candidate for Chandigarh seat.

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