The BJP has fielded two new faces — Ajay Bhatt and Tirath Singh Rawat — for the Nainital and Pauri seats of Uttarakhand, respectively.
For the other three seats — Almora, Haridwar and Tehri — the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is banking on its sitting MPs Ajay Tamta, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Maharani Malarajya Lakshmi Shah.
The names were declared on Thursday after two BJP former chief ministers — B.C. Khanduri, 85, and Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, 76 — opted out of the race due to their age.
Even though Bhatt and Rawat will contest the Lok Sabha elections for the first time, both of them had earlier won Assembly elections.
The BJP won 57 seats in the 2017 Assembly elections under the leadership of Bhatt. He is also the President of the state BJP.
“I am really grateful to the party high command to repose trust in me. I will try my best to register a big victory for the BJP in the election,” said Bhatt, who will file his nomination papers from Nainital on Monday.
Rawat is the party’s national secretary. He filed his nomination papers from Pauri on Friday.
He is pitted against Manish Khanduri, who is contesting an election for the first time.
“I have won the Pauri Assembly seat earlier. This time also, you will see a huge victory for the BJP,” Rawat said.