BJP finalises 100 candidates, rigorous selection process: Sources

The BJP has finalised a list of 100 Lok Sabha candidates following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's midnight meeting on Thursday. The list is expected to be announced in a few days, sources said.
BJP finalises 100 candidates, rigorous selection process: Sources
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The BJP has finalised 100 Lok Sabha candidates after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a late-night meeting at his residence on Thursday, say sources. The first list is expected to be announced in the new few days, sources said.

The list will focus on high profile candidates such as PM Modi himself from Varanasi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah from Gujarat's Gandhinagar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow along with the 'weak' seats that the party lost in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by a small margin.

States that had the focus of the BJP top brass at Thursday's late-night meeting were Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Assam, Kerala and Telangana, among others.

Sources said that there is a possibility of Union Ministers, who are also Rajya Sabha MPs, contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections likely to be held in April-May. These legislators include Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister Sarbanand Sonowal, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, and Union Minister of State (MoS) V Muraleedharan.

The BJP's list will also see the party focussing on fresh faces, including several women. For instance, the BJP could pitch Bhojpuri star Pawan Singh to take on Trinamool Congress MP and Bollywood legend Shatrughan Sinha in West Bengal's Asansol district.

On Thursday, PM Modi chaired a four-hour long CEC meeting to finalise the first of BJP's candidates for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Starting at 10:30 pm, the meeting went on for over four hours. It was attended by BJP chief JP Nadda, Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, among others.

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BJP finalises 100 candidates, rigorous selection process: Sources

Last week, top BJP leaders, including Amit Shah, JP Nadda and Adityanath, held a meeting to discuss the "weak seats" that may pose challenges for the party in the upcoming general elections.

A lot of work went behind preparing the first list, including taking feedback from the public, sources said. The public was asked to submit their feedback about the MPs of their constituency on BJP's NaMo app, and also mention the three most popular BJP leaders in their regions.

Reports were sought from BJP MPs regarding the work they have done in their respective constituencies for the last two years. Survey agencies were roped in to give a report on every parliamentary constituency.

Moreover, ministers in every parliamentary constituency of BJP ruled states were asked to gather reports on the work done by MPs. Then, the reports received from ministers and party organisation committee were reviewed by the state election committee. A list of names for each parliamentary seat was prepared at the state level meetings.

Before Thursday's CEC meeting, the core group of every state met with JP Nadda, Amit Shah and Organisation General Secretary BL Santosh. Names of possible candidates for each parliamentary seat were discussed at the meeting. This discussion happened among PM Modi, Amit Shah and JP Nadda at the Prime Minister's residence prior to taking place at the CEC meet.

Sources said that the BJP's strategy is to see who has the best chance to win each seat. If this candidate is from another party, then the saffron side's aim would be to bring the individual within their fold. For this, committees have been formed at state as well as central level.

According to sources, the final meeting of the CEC chaired by PM Modi is expected to be held on March 3. It is believed that tickets of MPs whose performance has not been good will be cancelled without any hesitation. The Prime Minister has said that BJP will be fighting for every parliamentary seat.

There are talks of cancelling the tickets of some ministers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Additionally, tickets of at least 60-70 MPs are likely to be cancelled. Fresh faces will be given a chance and will replace old ones who have won from a particular constituency twice.

However, sources added, tickets of OBC MPs are not expected to be cancelled. In 2019, 85 of 303 OBC MPs that the party fielded emerged victorious.

Source: India Today

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