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Khattar confidant Bhatia gets ticket from Karnal, 5 sitting MPs retained in 1st Haryana list

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

The BJP has retained five sitting MPs, fielded a state minister in the first list of Lok Sabha candidates for Haryana announced Saturday.

It has dropped its Karnal MP and fielded a former Indian Revenue Service officer from Sirsa.

The party has not yet announced candidates from Hisar and Rohtak seats, currently held by opposition INLD and Congress respectively. Haryana has 10 Lok Sabha constituencies.

The BJP has retained its MPs from Gurugram (Rao Inderjit Singh), Faridabad (Krishanpal Gurjar), Ambala (Rattan Lal Kataria), Sonipat (Ramesh Chander Kaushik) and Bhiwani-Mahendergarh (Dharamvir Singh).

It has fielded Haryana minister Naib Singh Saini, who enjoys good rapport with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, from Kurukshetra. Its sitting MP from Kurukshetra Raj Kumar Saini had turned rebel and floated his own outfit last year.

The party has dropped its Karnal MP Ashwani Kumar Chopra, who has been critical of the BJP leadership for some time, and fielded its state general secretary Sanjay Bhatia from there.

Bhatia is considered a confidant of Khattar, a legislative assembly member from Karnal.

Former Karnal MP Arvind Sharma, who recently joined the BJP, was a strong contender from the seat. He is said to be miffed with the party after his candidature was ignored.

There is speculation that Sharma may now be fielded from Rohtak, a seat where the names of state ministers Manish Grover and O P Dhankar are also doing the rounds.

From Hisar, state BJP chief Subhash Barala's name is being speculated.

From Sirsa (SC) seat, currently represented by the Indian National Lok Dal, BJP has fielded former IRS officer Suneeta Duggal. She has served as the chairperson of the Haryana Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corp and had unsuccessfully contested the previous state assembly poll.

Former IPS officer V Kamaraja had thrown his hat in the ring from Sirsa for a BJP ticket.

The sitting MP from Ambala, Kataria, thanked the party's senior leadership for reposing faith in him.

"Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, the country has made progress quickly. The entire world is recognising India's might. We are confident that people will again repose their faith in BJP and we will form the next government at the Centre," Kataria said.

Minister Saini said he felt honoured by the decision to nominate him from Kurukshetra.

"I am a disciplined soldier of my party and ever ready to take up any task given to me. I thank my party's central and state leaderships for choosing me to fight from Kurukshetra. The BJP will win all 10 seats from Haryana," he said.

He hit out at BJP's rebel MP Raj Kumar Saini, saying his political career has been marked with "opportunism and letting down people of his own constituency".

At BJP office in Panipat, sweets were distributed when of Bhatia getting party ticket from Karnal broke out. Panipat is Karnal's adjoining town.

Bhatia has been politically active in the Panipat region.

His sister Meetu Bhatia said it was a great honour for them. "We will win Karnal and other nine seats with huge margins," she asserted.

Out of 10 Lok Sabha seats, the ruling BJP has seven MPs.

In 2014 LS polls, BJP had contested eight seats, leaving two Hisar and Sirsa for then alliance partner Haryana Janhit Congress, led by former chief minister Bhajan Lal's son Kuldeep Bishnoi.

It had lost Rohtak to Congress party's Deepender Hooda, while HJC had lost both seats to the INLD. HJC later merged with Congress.

A series of meetings among senior party leaders, including members of the screening committee, were held in Rohtak recently to discuss the names of the candidates.

Some of the screening committee members are in-charge of Haryana BJP Kalraj Mishra, national general secretary Anil Jain, Chief Minister Khattar and state party chief Subhash Barala.

A state BJP leader said the winning potential of the candidates, their adherence to the party ideology and loyalty were factored in during the selection process.

Polls for all the 10 seats in Haryana will be held on May 12.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 06 2019. 20:45 IST