New Delhi, Mar 21: The BJP Central Election Committee (CEC), which held three rounds of marathon meetings to decide on the first list of candidates over the week announced 184 names including that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the temple city of Varanasi on Thursday.
The list did not have any major surprise and in several constituencies including in Uttar Pradesh, sitting MPs have been repeated.
However, according to the list released at party headquarters by Union Minister and BJP CEC secretary J P Nadda, the party president Amit Shah will be the saffron party candidate replacing the party patriarch L K Advani.
Two former BJP chiefs and the incumbent Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari too have been retained from their respective parliamentary constituencies of Lucknow and Nagpur respectively.
"For Bihar, all 17 names the BJP will be contesting have been cleared by the CEC but the final announcement will be made in Patna as part of NDA declaration of the candidates list," Mr Nadda told reporters.
In West Bengal, Union Minister Babul Supriyo has been fielded again from Asansol - wherein he sprang a major surprise in 2014 by winning the seat. This time around, he will be pitted against actress-turned-Trinamool leader Moon Moon Sen.
Union Minister and the ex-army chief Gen V K Singh will yet again try his luck from Ghaziabad while another Union Minister Smriti Irani will be the saffron party nominee from Amethi to take on the Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Another Union Minister Subhash Bhamre has been fielded from Dhule parliamentary constituency in Maharashtra.
Talking to reporters, Mr Gadkari exuded confidence that he will again win with a more margin of votes.
Among others, former Trinamool leader Arjun Singh will now take on former Union Minister and Trinamool candidate Dinesh Trivedi in Barrackpore while a new entrant in Odisha Baijayant Panda will be the saffron party nominee in Kendrapara.
Union Minister Mahesh Sharma has been retained from Gautam Buddh Nagar while the sitting MP Hema Malini is again the party nominee from Mathura.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju will be the party candidate from Arunachal West. (UNI)