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Elections India

16th BJP list: Somaiya denied ticket; Nirahua to fight Akhilesh

[pullquote]Manoj Kotak will contest in the place of Kirit Somaiya for the BJP from Mumbai North-East

Bhojpuri singer-actor Nirahua, who would challenge Akhilesh Yadav, joined the BJP 7 days ago[/pullquote]

New Delhi: The BJP released the 16th list of candidates for the Lok Sabha election on Wednesday. The biggest upset is the party denying ticket to current MP Kirit Somaiya from Mumbai North-East. The seat has gone to Manoj Kotak.

Reacting to the development, Somaiya said, “Very happy that Manoj Kotak ji standing with me here has got the ticket. We all will support him and ensure he wins. Ultimately, our aim is a second term for Modi ji. Responsibilities within the party keep changing. Nothing new in it!”

Shiv Sena was against the renomination of Somaiya. Kirit Somaiya has represented Mumbai twice as an MP. He is the only sitting parliamentarian the BJP has dropped in Mumbai this time.

The 65-year-old Somaiya has had to pay a price for taking up cudgels on behalf of the party to respond to the attacks by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at a time when its relationship with the BJP had soured.

Somaiya had reacted angrily not only to Thackeray’s regular rants, including at the instance where the Sena head had asked whether Prime Minister Modi had the guts to conduct a “surgical strike” on Swiss banks to recover black money, but also to the condition of the municipal corporations run by the Shiv Sena.

When Thackeray took a dig at the operation against terror-sponsor Pakistan, which the BJP and the Prime Minister wear as a badge of honour, Somaiya asked the Sena head whether he was concerned more about people with “boxes of money” or the poor.

Somaiya went to the extent of saying he would expose the “godfather” of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, a clear reference to Thackeray.

As BJP president Amit Shah attempted a patch-up with the Sena, Somaiya knew he could be sacrificed. To save his seat, he had sought an appointment with Thackeray, which was denied.

Bhojpuri singer-actor Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua has will contest against former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. He had joined the BJP on 27 March.

Prem Singh Shakya will be the candidate against Mulayam Singh Yadav from Mainpuri.

States PC No. Name of PC Name of Candidate Phase
Maharashtra 28 Mumbai North East Shri Manoj Kotak 4
Uttar Pradesh 20 Firozabad Dr. Chandra Sen Jadun 3
Uttar Pradesh 21 Mainpuri Shri Prem Singh Shakya 3
Uttar Pradesh 36 Rae Bareli Shri Dinesh Pratap Singh 5
Uttar Pradesh 69 Azamgarh Shri Dinesh Lal Yadav 6
Uttar Pradesh 74 Machhlishahr (SC) Shri V P Saroj 6