BJP contemplates fielding ex-CMs

The Asian Age.  | yojna gusai

India, Politics

The BJP CEC, which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held discussion on parliamentary seats in nearly 15 states

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP National President JP Nadda and others during the BJP's Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting to finalise the first list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, in New Delhi, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The first meeting of the BJP's central election committee (CEC) for the coming Lok Sabha elections was held on Thursday to finalise the names of candidates. The BJP CEC, which was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held discussion on parliamentary seats in nearly 15 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Delhi, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Rajasthan, and Jharkhand, among others.

Sources said in smaller states like Uttarakhand, Tripura, Haryana and Delhi, the names of candidates have been finalised, while in states like UP, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, the party's top brass has finalised names on some of the seats.

The BJP's top brass will also be taking a final call on whether or not to field former chief ministers -- Vasundhara Raje, Raman Singh and Shivraj Singh Chouhan -- in the ensuing general election and how many "new faces" will be given a chance this time. Some sitting MPs with two or more terms are likely to be replaced to give "new faces" a chance. Sources said the party leadership could also change the parliamentary seats of some of the sitting MPs.

Ahead of the CEC meeting, BJP president J.P. Nadda and Union minister Amit Shah met Mr Modi at the latter's official residence. The meeting at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg lasted for more than four hours. Chief ministers of the BJP-ruled states, including UP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, MP and Tripura, also attended the CEC meeting.

According to party insiders, the BJP leadership has decided to field some of its Union ministers, who are members of the Rajya Sabha. Speculation is rife that Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Bhupendra Yadav, Mansukh Mandaviya, Purushottam Rupala, V. Murleedharan and Rajeev Chandrasekhar will be contesting the Lok Sabha polls. According to sources, the BJP leadership asked its Union ministers to give their three choices of seats from where they want to contest.

The BJP top brass had also been brainstorming since last week about the party strategy for seats lost in the last Lok Sabha polls.