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BJP replaces Kirron Kher with Sanjay Tandon in Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat

BJP replaces Kirron Kher with Sanjay Tandon in Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat

Chandigarh, April 10: The BJP on Wednesday announced Sanjay Tandon as its candidate for the lone Lok Sabha seat of Chandigarh, replacing two-time MP Kirron Kher.

Tandon, 60, is the party's co-incharge for Himachal Pradesh and is the son of former Chhattisgarh governor late Balramji Das Tandon who was one of the founding members of the Jan Sangh and later also served as Punjab BJP chief.

He thanked the party leadership for giving him the ticket from Chandigarh, which will go to polls in the last phase of general elections on June 1, and discounted the electoral challenge posed by the INDIA bloc, saying "Politics works on chemistry, not on mathematics".

Actor Kirron Kher, who became MP from Chandigarh in 2014 and again won from the constituency in 2019, greeted Tandon on his nomination.

"Congratulations @SanjayTandonBJP Ji on being selected as the BJP candidate for the Chandigarh constituency. Wishing you all the best in your campaign ahead," she posted on X while sharing her photo with Tandon.

Tandon, who was the Chandigarh BJP president for nearly a decade in the past, said he has always been committed to the welfare of the Union Territory.

"I have been connected with the people of Chandigarh for the last 40 years in one way or the other and I assure them I will not leave any stone unturned to serve them like a family member," he said.

"It is a moment of great happiness for me. I thank my party's leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president J P Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah," he told reporters outside his residence where the party supporters and other people had gathered to congratulate him.

His family was also seen celebrating and offering sweets to those who visited Tandon's house in Sector 18.

The BJP, in its 10th list, announced the candidates for a total of nine Lok Sabha seats -- seven in Uttar Pradesh and one each in Chandigarh and West Bengal.

Replying to a question, Tandon said, if elected, he would work to make Chandigarh "number one in the entire country".

On the challenge posed by the INDIA bloc, Tandon quipped, "In politics, two plus two is not always four, either it is five, two or minus even. It is a matter of combination. Politics works on chemistry, not on mathematics".

Under a seat-sharing deal between Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress, both constituents of the INDIA bloc, the Congress will field its candidate from Chandigarh.

The BJP and the AAP-Congress alliance were locked in an acrimonious contest this year for the posts of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

Asked if he has been rewarded for his patience by the party, Tandon said, "In politics, if you cannot keep patience, then you should not enter this field... I always worked like a worker for my party".

Notably, the names of Satyapal Jain and Arun Sood were also doing the rounds for the party ticket from Chandigarh.

Tandon said he was born in Amritsar and also worked for the party in Punjab.

"Punjab, Punjabiyat and Punjabi brotherhood is not new for me," he said.

About his late father, Tandon said, "He taught me that in politics keep working without aspiring for any post".

A chartered accountant by profession, Tandon is also the president of the UT Cricket Association Chandigarh.

Tandon did his early schooling in Amritsar. Later, the family moved to Chandigarh. He became a chartered accountant in 1986. He also carries out various social service activities through NGOs Competent Foundation and Balramji Das Tandon Charitable Foundation.

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