Lok Sabha Polls: BJP Fields Actor Ravi Kishan From UP’s Gorakhpur

In a surprise move, the BJP on Monday, 15 April, announced Bhojpuri film star Ravi Kishan as its Lok Sabha candidate from Gorakhpur, the bastion of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, instead of the widely-speculated candidature of sitting MP Praveen Nishad who recently joined the party.

Nishad has been fielded from Sant Kabir Nagar, with the BJP dropping sitting MP Sharad Tripathi who had created a political storm by beating a local BJP MLA with shoes.

However, Sharad Tripathi's father, Ramapati Ram Tripathi, has been given BJP ticket from neighbouring Deoria, as per the latest party list of seven candidates in Uttar Pradesh.

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Ramapati Ram Tripathi was the UP BJP chief during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Deoria was represented by former Union minister Kalraj Mishra.

Last year, Nishad, a joint candidate of SP-BSP, had defeated BJP's Upendra Shukla in Gorakhpur in a surprise bypoll win, after Adityanath, who had represented the Lok Sabha seat five times since 1998, became the chief minister.

However, Nishad joined the BJP earlier this month and there was speculation that he might be party's candidate from Gorakhpur.

Nishad is son of the Sanjay Nishad, the head of the Nishad Party, which ended its alliance with the SP-BSP last week and joined hands with the BJP.

With the list of candidates releases by the party Monday, the BJP has so far announced candidates for 420 Lok Sabha seats for the seven-phase elections which will start on 11 April and continue till 19 May.

The saffron party has decided to field UP cooperative minister Mukut Bihari from Ambedkarnagar. It has also given ticket to Sangam Lal Gupta from Pratapgarh, the parliamentary constituency that was won by BJP ally Apna Dal in 2014.

The party has fielded KP Singh from Jaunpur and Ramesh Bind from Bhadohi, it said.

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