New Delhi: The BJP on Saturday announced the names of 64 more candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, including party’s senior leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad from Patna in Bihar and national spokesperson Sambit Patra from Puri in Odisha. (Also read: BJP Drops Four Sitting Maharashtra MPs)

With these 64 names, the party has announced the name of its 249 candidates so far for the parliamentary polls which will be held in seven phases beginning from April 11 and ending on May 19. The counting will take place on May 23.

The names for the first two phases have been cleared by the BJP’s central election committee (CEC), headed by its chief Amit Shah and including
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Out of the 64 names, 47 were announced in two different lists issued by the party on Saturday, while the names of its 17 candidates were shared with media by the BJP in a joint press conference with its allies in Patna.

These names include 23 nominees for Andhra Pradesh, six candidates for Maharashtra and Telangana, five for Odisha, three for Uttar Pradesh and one candidate each for Assam, Kerala and Meghalaya were announced today besides names of its 17 nominees for Bihar.

The party is contesting on 40 Lok Sabha seats of Bihar in alliance with JD(U) and LJP, where both BJP and JD(U) will fight on 17 seats each and LJP on remaining six.

The big names which were announced on Saturday include Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who will be now party’s candidate from Patna replacing film actor and sitting MP Shatrughan Sinha.

Party also announced the candidature of its national spokesperson Sambhit Patra from Puri, where Modi’s name was also speculated as the candidate. The party has also changed the seat of Union minister Giriraj Singh from Nawada to Begusarai in Bihar.

Reacting to his name finding a place on the list, Patra said, “I would like to thank PM Modi who sent me to Puri. I’d also like to thank Amit Shah ji for placing his faith in me. Jagannath ji called me here and Modi ji sent me. I will do my utmost to serve the people of Puri.”