2019 Lok sabha polls: BJP yet to release its first candidate list

Amit Shah; BJP

New Delhi| The BJP’s central election committee (CEC) met Wednesday for a third time to deliberate on the names of its candidates for the Lok Sabha elections and is believed to have finalised candidates for most of the seats going to the polls in the initial few phases.

It has so far not released any list of candidates for the seven-phase polls starting from April 11.

The party is likely to field Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, R K Singh and Giriraj Singh from Patna Sahib, Arrah and Begusarai seats in Bihar respectively.

It may repeat Union ministers V K Singh and Satyapal Singh from their seats in western Uttar Pradesh. In Odisha, the party is considering fielding its spokesperson Sambit Patra and its vice president Baijayant Panda, sources said.

While the party is set to drop a sizeable number of its sitting MPs from UP to take on the formidable SP-BSP alliance, it is set to bank on its sitting members in Bihar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to recontest from Varanasi and the party is also deliberating on whether to field him from one more seat.

The CEC, whose meeting was attended by Modi, party president Amit Shah and its other members, held a long meeting with top BJP leaders from Uttar Pradesh. It later met leaders from other states.

The party sources said names of candidates for a large number of seats is final and could be announced soon.

On Tuesday evening, the CEC had held a seven-hour-long discussion to deliberate upon the names of the party’s candidates in various states.

Though the Congress has announced candidates for 146 Lok Sabha constituencies so far, the BJP is yet to officially make any announcement on its nominees.

The sources in the party suggested that most of the ministers in the Union Cabinet, who are sitting Lok Sabha MPs, are likely to be fielded from same seats.

On Tuesday, the party had announced that it will drop its all 10 incumbent MPs from Chhattisgarh and replace them with new faces, a decision that comes in the wake of the party’s drubbing in the recent assembly elections. The state’s former chief minister Raman Singh may not contest elections, the sources said.


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