New Delhi: Late BJP leader Pramod
Mahajan`s daughter Poonam figures in the first list of 66
party candidates for coming assembly elections in Maharashtra
Poonam Mahajan will contest from Ghatkopar West
assembly seat in Mumbai.
The party said while 23 sitting MLAs have been
renominated, nine sitting legislators were denied ticket due
to delimitation and "other reasons". One sitting MLC also
figures in the candidates` list.
The first list consists of names of two women, six
Schedule Caste and nine Schedule Tribe candidates.
While BJP state unit president Nitin Ghadkari is not
contesting the elections, the party has fielded its former
state president Sambhajirao Pawar from Sangli assembly seat.
34-year-old Jalil Ansari is the only Muslim candidate
in the list and he has been fielded from Malegaon (Central).
Malegaon was in the news after a series of blasts had rocked
the city in September, 2006, killing 37 people.
Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Lt Col Srikant Purohit and some
activists of right wing group Abhinav Bharat have been accused
of involvement in the blasts.
Asked why BJP is fielding Ansari, party general
secretary Gopinath Munde said he is an old party worker from
the area and it was appropriate to give him a ticket.
Other prominent leaders fielded by BJP are former
state Finance Minister and leader of BJP in legislative
assembly Eknath Khadse (Muktainagar), BJP youth wing
vice-president Devendra Phaddanvis (Nagpur South West) and
former NCP MP Shivajirao Kardile (Rahuri).
BJP will contest 119 seats while its ally Shiv Sena is
contesting 169 seats in the polls.
BJP is contesting on two more seats this time. In
the last assembly elections, Shiv Sena had given 117 seats to
BJP is likely to come out with its second list of
candidates on September 21.