New Delhi, Sep 30: The first list of BJP candidates for ensuing Haryana polls has little surprise as the names include Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to contest from Karnal.
The list also includes three prominent sports personalities - former Indian Hockey captain Sardar Sandeep Singh, Olympic bronze medalist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and female wrestler Babita Phogat - and also two Muslims, BJP general secretary Arun Singh announced on Monday.
Chief Minister represented Karnal in the outgoing House as well.
A total of 38 MLAs got the tickets and seven sitting legislators were denied opportunities to contest on the party symbol.
Mr Singh said former hockey captain of the national squad Sardar Sandeep Singh will try his electoral luck from Pehowa while Olympic medalist Yogeshwar Dutt, who joined the saffron party on Thursday, will contest from Baroda, which is his home district.
BJP state unit chief Subhash Barala will be the party nominee from Tohana while senior state Minister Anil Viz will be party nominee from Ambala Cantonment.
Former Akali leader Balkaur Singh, who too had joined BJP on Thursday, will contest from Kalanwali (Reserved) seat.
Among the women candidates Santosh Danoda will be saffron party's candidate from Narwana - reserved seat.
The BJP is in power in Haryana for the past five years.
The Haryana state Assembly elections are slated for October 21 and the counting of votes will take place on October 24.
Among others, tickets have been given to Balwant Singh from Sadhaura (SC), Kanwarpal Gurjar from Jagadhri, Ghanshyam Das Arora from Yamunanagar, Latika Sharma from Kalka, Gyan Chand Gupta from Panchkula, Ashim Goyal from Ambala City and Rajveer Barada from Mulana (SC),
Haryana has 90-seat assembly and in 2014 elections, the BJP had won 47 and the Congress 15; the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) had won 9 while rest were won by state-based regional parties and Independents.
According to the list - Rao Narbir Singh from Badshahpur and Vipul Goyal from Faridabad were denied tickets at a time when the saffron party riding the hardliner nationalistic stance after abrogation of the Article 370 is confident of returning to power.
However, in a tweet last night Prime Minister Narendra Modi said - "We are going to polls in these states (Haryana and Maharashtra) based on our development work and double engine of the Centre and State Governments, led by popular as well as industrious Chief Ministers".
Haryana Chief Minister Mr Khattar is a non-Jat leader and his 'selection' in 2014 to lead the government had surprised many Haryana watchers. In general, the Jat community has been a dominant political force in the state.
According to the party list, prominent Jat leader Birender Singh's wife, Ms Prem Lala, who is an MLA, will contest from Uchana Kalan, a seat she won in 2014.
There are nine women candidates in the first list for Haryana - which has been generally known for running a patriarchal political system.
A pro-saffron party think-tank has claimed in a survey report released here on Monday that over 96 per cent of the promises made in the election manifesto of 2014 by the saffron outfit have been successfully delivered by Manohar Lal-led BJP government in poll-bound Haryana.
One of its major election issues this year could be the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise, Mr Khattar has announced more than once.
Wrestler Ms Phogat, who will be contesting from Dadri, has been generally pro-BJP for quite sometime having backed the government move to abrogate Article 370 as well. She has also in the past declared herself as a "very big fan" of Prime Minister Modi.
Ms Nouksham Choudhary from Panahana and Zakir Hussain from Nuh will be two Muslim candidates contesting on BJP tickets. (UNI)