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BJP’s first list for Haryana elections out, sport star Babita Phogat and Yogeshwar Dutt get tickets to contest the polls

BJP chief of Haryana Subhash Barala will fight from Tohana. Ms. Phogat will be contesting from Dari and Mr. Dutt from Baroda.

New Delhi: Haryana Chief Minister and the BJP leader Manohar Lal Khattar will contest the state election from Karnal assembly seat, while sports stars Babita Phogat and Yogeshwar Dutt have also been allotted BJP tickets. 38 MLAs are contesting and 7 have been dropped, said BJP national general secretary Arun Singh.

The BJP finalized its first list of 78 candidates for the election to Haryana’s 90-seat assembly, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, and senior leaders huddled together at the BJP headquarters in central Delhi for over three hours to select the candidates.

BJP chief of Haryana Subhash Barala will fight from Tohana. Ms. Phogat will be contesting from Dari and Mr. Dutt from Baroda.

BJP’s Rao Narbir Singh from Badshahpur and Vipul Goyal from Faridabad – have not been given tickets.

In the 2014 state election, the BJP won 47 and the Congress 15; the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) took 19. The rest were won by other regional parties and independents.

Jat leader and Former Union Minister Birender Singh’s wife, who is an MLA, will contest from Uchana Kalan, a seat she won in the 2014 assembly election. There is a total of nine women and two Muslims in the BJP’s first list for Haryana.

The BJP has already held several rallies in the northern state, where it faces a fragmented opposition. One of its major election issues is the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise to filter out illegal immigrants in the state, similar to the one carried out in Assam.

In the month of August, Ms. Phogat and her father Mahavir Phogat joined the BJP.  Ms. Phogat, 29, is a three-time Commonwealth gold and silver medallist. Both she and her father inspired the 2016 Bollywood blockbuster “Dangal” starring Aamir Khan, about making it large in the male-dominated world of wrestling, mentored and coached by their father.

The BJP’s top leadership, including PM Modi, party president Amit Shah and working president J P Nadda, held a meeting that lasted for several hours with other CEC members and leaders from the two states to finalize names of candidates.

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