Wrestler Babita Phogat in BJP’s Haryana list

New Delhi: The BJP on Monday released the first list of its 79 candidates for the ensuing 90-member Haryana Assembly elections slated on October 21, with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar seeking re-election again from Karnal. The list includes 38 sitting MLAs while seen others have been dropped.

The party has not entered into any electoral alliance and so the mystery remains why it left 11 seats vacant unless some understanding is reached with the Akali Dal that had earlier decided to contest on its own.

Haryana BJP President Subhash Barala is seeking re-election from Tohana while state health minister Anil Vij is fielded again from Ambala Cantt.

Babita Phogat (29), female wrestler won won the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and 2018, has been fielded by the party from Dadri.

Two other sportspersons fielded by the BJP are former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh from Pehowa and Olympic medalist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt from Baroda.

Other prominent candidates in the BJP list are Captain Abhimanyu from Narnod, Omprakash Dhankar from Badli and former union minister Birender Singh’s wife Premlata once again from Uchana Kalan. The candidates include nine women and two Muslims.

The announcement comes a day after the BJP held the Central Election Committee meeting here on Sunday to finalise its candidates for the Assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra.

The party’s top brass, including Prime Minister Modi, its president Amit Shah and Working President J P Nadda among others, deliberated for several others to finalise the candidates from the two states.

Khattar and Devendra Fadnavis, chief ministers of Haryana and Maharashtra respectively, remain the face of the BJP in this polls, the first since after abrogation of Article 370 that used to give a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

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