The party's central election committee under the chairmanship of BJP president Nitin Gadkari here on Saturday, Jul 9 decided on Ms. Irani and Dilip Pandya to contest in the vacancies that will occur mid-August, when Surendra Motilal Patel and Pravin Naik retire.
Smriti had lost to Congress leader Kapil Sibal from Chandni Chawk in 2004 Lok Sabha elections. Dilip Pandya, 65 is old Jan Sangh worker from north Gujarat"s Siddhpur town. Pandya, a Brahmin is former president of Siddhpur Municipality.
“Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and BJP leader LK Advani were insisting on Nirmala, but party president Nitin Gadkari prevailed on them and nominated Irani, his choice and Pandya, who was recommended by Modi," a senior BJP leader said.
Irani, achieved fame and became a household name in Gujarat after her portrayal of a Gujarati bahu in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, a popular soap in Star Plus.