BJP releases first list of candidates for C’garh, MP assembly elections


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday released its first list of 21 candidates for the Chhattisgarh assembly polls, even before the announcement of elections.
The party has released the list of 21 candidates for the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly, which includes the name of five women candidates, including Laxmi Rajwade, Shakuntala Singh Porthe, Sarla Kosaria, Alka Chandrakar and Geeta Ghasi Sahu.
The list also includes the name of Durg MP Vijay Baghel, a distant nephew of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
Vijay Baghel is to contest the poll from Patan assembly seat.
The party had earlier named the Durg MP, who was in Congress till 2000, as in charge of its manifesto committee, heading a group of 30 leaders.
Meanwhile, BJP has also declared the names of 39 candidates for the 230-seat Madhya Pradesh Assembly.
The elections in these two states are due later this year.
The BJP had announced its list of candidates in Karnataka late compared to its rivals in the state. The party lost the polls in the southern state.
The early declaration of the first list in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh is being seen as a move to give more time to candidates to campaign.
BJP is the first national party to declare candidates for both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The announcement comes a day after discussions in the Party’s Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting regarding poll preparations for Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
According to sources, the CEC discussed preparations in poll-bound Chhattisgarh and discussed some seats.
Of 90 seats, the CEC discussed the panel of candidates on 27 seats, the sources said, adding that the party has categorised seats into four categories – A, B, C, and D – for better planning in its electoral effort.
They said that classification will help give sharper focus to seats that the party considers weak.
While ‘A’ category seats are those which BJP has won every time in the past polls, ‘B’ category has seats the party has had mixed results in terms of win and loss, the sources said.
The ‘C’ category has seats where BJP is weak while the ‘D’ category comprises those constituencies which BJP has never won, they said.
The meeting was held at BJP headquarters and discussions concerning Chhattisgarh lasted for about two hours.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief JP Nadda, Chhattisgarh election in charge Om Prakash Mathur, co-incharge Mansukh Mandviya and former Chief Minister Raman Singh were among the leaders present at the meeting.
Five states – Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram – will go to the polls by the end of this year. BJP is in power in Madhya Pradesh.