Taking the lead, the BJP on Thursday announced the first list of candidates for the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh that are due later this year.
The names of the candidates were finalised at a meeting of its Central Election Committee (CEC) that was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The meeting concluded late on Wednesday night. Senior leaders from both the States were present at the meeting.
The party announced candidates for 39 seats in the 230-member M.P. Assembly and 21 for the 90-member House in neighbouring Chhattisgarh. All were seats the party had lost in the 2018 Assembly elections. In the party’s own analysis, based on past electoral record and strength of party organisation there, these were ‘C’ and ‘D’ category seats where the party had either lost more than twice or had never won.
The lists have been released not just before similar announcements by its main rival Congress, which rules Chhattisgarh and is in Opposition in MP, but even before formal announcement of elections which is perhaps a first in the party’s history in both States.
Sources in central BJP said that by announcing the candidates much in advance in vulnerable seats the party was trying to give the candidates enough time to make themselves acquainted with local dynamics. Both the lists comprise candidates from different regions as well as those who will contest in reserved seats. Sources in both the States added that winnability was the main criterion for selections.