BJP's 2024 Candidate List Released: Controversial MPs Left Out, Replacements Named

Candidates including Pragya Thakur, Ramesh Bidhuri, Parvesh Verma, and Jayant Sinha, who have in the past few years found themselves embroiled in controversy, have been left out.


(PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist Lav)
Daughter of late BJP leader Sushma Swaraj and the party's Delhi Secretary Bansuri Swaraj offers sweets to Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders (Representational Image) (PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist Lav)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday released its first list of candidates for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, comprising more than 195 names. The list features notable figures such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 34 Union ministers and ministers of state (MoS), as well as several other prominent individuals. Additionally, the list includes Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and two former Chief Ministers.

In Delhi, five candidates have been named, four of whom are replacing incumbent MPs. Gujarat and Rajasthan have 15 candidates, but five of the sitting MPs would be out. Additionally, several candidates including Pragya Thakur, Ramesh Bidhuri, Parvesh Verma, and Jayant Sinha, who have in the past few years found themselves embroiled in controversy, have been left out.


Replaced MP’s and the Controversy Around Them

Pragya Singh Thakur

Pragya Singh Thakur, a BJP MP from Bhopal, has been a controversial figure in politics since her election in 2019. A former member of the right-wing organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Thakur faces charges in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blast, which killed six people and injured over 100. Despite the ongoing trial, she was fielded as a candidate by the BJP, sparking criticism from opposition parties.

Thakur's tenure as an MP has been marked by controversial statements, including her praise for Mahatma Gandhi's assassin, Nathuram Godse, which led to her temporary suspension from the BJP. She has also made claims about the efficacy of cow urine in treating cancer, drawing scepticism from the medical community.


Ramesh Bidhuri

Ramesh Bidhuri, a three-time BJP MP from South Delhi, has been a controversial figure in the capital. Known for his fiery and aggressive speeches, Bidhuri has often found himself amid heated debates and altercations, both inside and outside the parliament.

Bidhuri's political career has been marred by allegations of using derogatory language against opponents and making inflammatory statements. In 2019, he was banned from campaigning for 48 hours by the Election Commission for using indecent language during a rally.

During a debate in parliament on September 21, 2023, Bidhuri hurled Islamophobic remarks at Bahujan Samaj Party MP Kunwar Danish Ali, branding him a terrorist. These statements were denounced by MPs and political leaders from all parties. However, no action was taken against him by Speaker Om Birla.

Parvesh Verma

Parvesh Verma, a first-time BJP MP from West Delhi, has made headlines for his controversial statements and hardline stance on various issues. Son of former Chief Minister of Delhi, Sahib Singh Verma, Parvesh has been a vocal critic of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the capital.

During the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections, Verma sparked outrage with his comments about anti-CAA protesters, alleging that they would "enter homes and rape sisters and daughters." The Election Commission banned him from campaigning for 96 hours following these remarks.

Verma has also been a strong advocate for the abrogation of Article 370 and the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). He has faced criticism for his divisive rhetoric and alleged attempts to polarise voters along religious lines.


Jayant Sinha

Jayant Sinha, a BJP MP from Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, and former Minister of State for Finance and Civil Aviation. He is the son of Yashwant Sinha, who was the presidential candidate of the opposition in the 2022 presidential elections.

In 2018, Jayant sparked outrage when he garlanded and felicitated eight men convicted in the Ramgarh lynching case after they were released on bail.

The incident drew sharp criticism from opposition parties and civil society groups, who accused Sinha of endorsing mob violence and undermining the rule of law. Sinha, however, defended his actions, stating that he was merely supporting the due process of law and the right of the accused to appeal their conviction.


Dr Harsh Vardhan

Dr Harsh Vardhan, a BJP MP from Chandni Chowk, Delhi, and former Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, has been a prominent figure in Indian politics. A practising ENT surgeon, Vardhan has been lauded for his efforts in the eradication of polio and the implementation of the Pulse Polio programme during his tenure as the Delhi Health Minister.

However, Vardhan has also faced criticism for his controversial statements and handling of certain issues. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, he drew flak for downplaying the severity of the situation and claiming that India was better prepared than other countries.


Vardhan has also been a vocal advocate for traditional medicine and has promoted the use of alternative treatments like AYUSH alongside modern medicine. This has led to concerns among some in the medical community who argue that such practices lack scientific evidence.

Meenakshi Lekhi

Meenakshi Lekhi, a two-time BJP MP from the New Delhi constituency, has been a prominent face in Indian politics, known for her vocal opinions and legal acumen. A Supreme Court lawyer by profession, Lekhi has been involved in several high-profile cases and has been a strong advocate for women's rights.

In 2021, Lekhi faced criticism for referring to protesting farmers as "mawali" (ruffians) during a press conference, a remark she later clarified as being directed towards those who had allegedly attacked a police officer. She has also been a vocal critic of the opposition parties, often engaging in heated debates and exchanges.


Queen Oja

Queen Oja, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP for the Guwahati Lok Sabha constituency, has found herself embroiled in a controversy regarding her educational qualifications during the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. Allegations have surfaced claiming that Oja submitted false information in her affidavit while filing her nomination papers.

According to the affidavit, Oja stated that her highest qualification is Higher Secondary from the Krishna Kanta Handique Open University (KKHSOU) in 2011. However, former KKHSOU Registrar Rajat Baran Mahanta has clarified that the Bachelor Preparatory Program (BPP) mentioned by Oja is a bridging course offered to students who have left their studies midway through school.