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BJP's poll body deliberates on Lok Sabha candidates for about 16 states

The list may have over 110 names, they said, adding that the party will continue with its practice of dropping a significant number of incumbent MPs on account of their performance as well as political imperatives.
Last Updated 01 March 2024, 12:19 IST

New Delhi: The BJP's Central Election Committee (CEC) in its meeting for deciding Lok Sabha poll candidates has deliberated on the party's nominees for nearly 16 states amid indications that several heavyweights may figure in the first list.

The CEC members, which included Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party's national president J P Nadda and Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, pored over the probables for states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa and Uttarakhand among others to finalise the nominees.

The CEC meeting, which began around 10:30 pm on Thursday and lasted for more than five hours, was held at the party's headquarters here.

Before that, Shah and Nadda had met Modi at his residence to hold consultations, sources said.

They said the first list may have the names of Modi, Shah and Singh from their current seats Varanasi, Gandhinagar and Lucknow respectively besides several Union ministers, including some who will be contesting Lok Sabha polls after having served in Rajya Sabha.

The list may have over 110 names, they said, adding that the party will continue with its practice of dropping a significant number of incumbent MPs on account of their performance as well as political imperatives.

States like Bihar and Maharashtra where the BJP has key allies, or the states where the party is open to an alliance, as in Andhra Pradesh, have not figured in the discussion so far.

In Uttar Pradesh, the party is likely to leave six seats to allies, including Jayant Singh-led RLD, which has yet not formally joined the BJP-led alliance but has given ample indications it would do.

Though the CEC has gone through a large number of seats, all of them many not figure in the first list, the sources said.

Union ministers Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Bhupender Yadav, Mansukh Mandaviya, Dharmendra Pradhan, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Parshottam Rupala are likely to be fielded in the polls. There is a strong buzz that Chandrasekhar will be pitted against Shashi Tharoor, the three-term incumbent Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram.

The sources said three of the four BJP MPs-- Union minister G Kishan Reddy, Bandi Sanjay Kumar and Dharmapuri Arvind-- will be contesting from their current constituencies Secunderabad, Karimnanagr and Nizamabad respectively.

The ruling party is looking to name its candidates for a sizeable number of Lok Sabha seats before the Election Commission (EC) announces the poll schedule. The elections are expected to be held in April-May.

A large number of those seats that the BJP has targeted for improving its prospects after unsuccessfully contesting those in 2019 may figure in the initial lists of candidates, following the template of recent Assembly polls, the sources said.

The BJP's poll candidate lists have often been as significant for those missing out as for the new faces given a chance and all eyes will be on whether it drops some well-known names or does some fresh experiment in selecting its nominees.

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(Published 01 March 2024, 12:19 IST)

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