New Delhi :
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday fielded former cricketer Gautam Gambhir from East Delhi Lok Sabha seat. The 37-year-old cricketer has replaced sitting BJP MP Mahesh Giri.
He will be contesting against Congress candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely and Aam Aadmi Party’s Atishi from the East Delhi parliamentary constituency.
The former opening batsman, who played a key role in India's triumph in the 2011 World Cup and the 2007 T-20 World Cup, had joined the BJP in March in the presence of Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad.
He was recently conferred upon the Padma Shri award. After joining the party, Gambhir had said that he was impressed by the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will work for the country's welfare as a member of the party.
The BJP has retained Meenakshi Lekhi, the party’s sole woman MP in the national capital, and gave ticket from New Delhi Lok Sabha seat. She is pitted against AAP's Brajesh Goel and Ajay Maken of the Congress.
The party is yet to name its candidate for the North-west Delhi constituency. According to sources, the BJP is likely to release another list in a while. Sources said that Udit Raj, incumbent MP from the North West seat, is constantly trying to call BJP organizational general secretary Ramlal but in vain.
Reports suggest that the party is considering former mayor Anita Arya for this seat.
The BJP has so far announced its candidates for six of the seven seats in the national capital. The BJP had won all seven seats in the national capital in the last election.
Earlier on Sunday, BJP released list of five candidates, renominating four of its sitting MPs, including Union minister Harsh Vardhan. The party has again nominated Vardhan and BJP state unit president Manoj Tiwari from Chandni Chowk and North East Delhi seats respectively.
64-year-old Vardhan, an MBBS from GSVM medical college, Kanpur, had defeated AAP's Ashutosh in the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Chandni Chowk by a margin of 1,36,320 votes. He has won the Krishna Nagar Assembly constituency five times consecutively since 1993.
In 2014, Bhojpuri singer and actor Manoj Tiwari had won from North East Delhi, which has sizeable Purvanchali and Muslim voters, by defeating AAP's Anand Kumar by 1,44,084 votes.
The singer-turned-politician had unsuccessfully contested against current UP Chief Minister Yogi Aditya Nath from Gorakhpur as a Samajwadi Party candidate in the 2009 Lok Sabha election. Former Delhi chief minister Saheb Singh Verma's son Parvesh Verma has been fielded from West Delhi and Ramesh Bidhuri from South Delhi.
In 2014, 41-year-old Verma had won the seat polling votes more than AAP and Congress candidates together. He had defeated AAP's Jarnail Singh by 2,68,586 votes in 2014.