Bracing for a tough parliamentary election to be held in April-May, India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party came out with its first list of 184 candidates spread across 20 states.
The list of candidates was made public on Thursday evening after three days of deliberations by the BJP parliamentary board, the party's highest decision-making forum.
The party has changed contestants in 17 constituencies including sidelined patriarch Lal Krishna Advani signalling the end of his electoral career.
Predictably, the party retained PM Narendra Modi to contest from Varanasi constituency and decided to field party chief Amit Shah from Gandhinagar replacing 91-year-old Advani who, along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was instrumental in catapulting the BJP to success in 1980s and 1990s.
Modi had defeated Arvind Kejriwal, now Delhi Chief Minister, in Varanasi in the previous parliamentary poll in 2014 while this will be Shah's first tryst with Lok Sabha poll.
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh will fight once again from Lucknow constituency while Road and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur, the headquarters of the BJP's ideological mentor the RSS. Textile minister Smriti Irani will take on Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the second time in Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh.