The Hindu Business Line

BJP’s Dinesh Pratap Singh to take on Sonia Gandhi

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The BJP on Wednesday announced its nominees against key opposition leaders such as Sonia Gandhi of the Congress and SP’s Akhilesh Yadav.

The BJP has pitted wellknown Bhojpuri actor and singer Dinesh Lal Yadav against Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav from Azamgarh.

It has fielded Prem Singh Shakya against Yadav’s father Mulayam Singh Yadav from Mainpuri.

The BJP has named Dinesh Pratap Singh, a local strongman who had left the Congress to join BJP last year, as its candidate against Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli.

The seat has long been a bastion of the Gandhi family with the former Congress president representi­ng it in Lok Sabha since 2004.

The party has replaced sitting Machhlisha­hr MP Ram Charitra Nishad with VP Saroj.

The party also dropped its sitting MP Kirit Somaiya, whose name was opposed by ally Shiv Sena, as its candidate from Mumbai North East.

The BJP’s decision to replace him with Manoj Kotak underscore­s its keenness to keep its Hindutva ally in good humour.

Somaiya, an old BJP hand and one of its leading speakers on economic issues in Parliament, had been a trenchant critic of the Sena.

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