BJP suggests names of LS candidates

| | NEW DELHI
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BJP suggests names of LS candidates

Friday, 01 March 2024 | Rajesh Kumar | NEW DELHI

From External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to late Sushma Swaraj's daughter Bansuri Swaraj, and Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were among the names that circulated in the BJP's Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting on Thursday as the party convened to release its first list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Sources said the meeting discussed the seats lost in the 2019 General Elections and the margins of victory and defeat to decide on the various sets of names proposed by the ruling party. Prior to the CEC meeting, a five-hour-long session was held at the Prime Minister's residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the party's national president JP Nadda.

As per the first list to be released Modi will be the obvious contestant from his two term Varanasi constituency, Union Home Minister Amit Shah from Gandhi Nagar, Rajnath Singh from Lucknow, Smriti Irani from Amethi, while former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan from Vidisha, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal West, Arjun Ram Meghwal from Bikaner, Gajendra Sekhawat from Jodhpur, Sambit Patra from Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia from Gwalior,  Pratima Bhoumik from Tripura west,  Saroj Pandey from Korba, BD  Sharma from Khajurao, Ajay Bhatt from Nainital, Ravi Kishan from Gorakhpur, Manoj Tiwari from North East Delhi, Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma from West Delhi, Ramesh Bidhuri from South Delhi, Annapurna Devi from Koderma, Sunil Kumar from Chatra, Nishikant Dubey from Godda,  Arjun Munda from Khunti, Kailash Chaudhary from Barmer, Om Birla from Kota,  Rahul Kaswan from Churu, Dushyant Singh from Jhalawar, CP Joshi from Chittorgarh.

A decision on candidates for the States of Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu has been put on hold. Alliance discussions are in progress in all three States — with Akali Dal in Punjab, Telugu Desam Party and Jana Sena in Andhra Pradesh and the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav, Chhattishgarh Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai, Devendra Fanavis, Prakash Javadekar, Mansukhbhai Mandaviya, Pushkar Dhami, Pramod Sawant, Bhupendra Yadav, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Keshav Maurya, Yogi Adityanath and others attended the meeting.

The meeting focussed on Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Telangana, Rajasthan, Goa, Gujarat, West Bengal, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh and other States.

Many MPs like Jagdambika Pal are likely to be dropped due to age factor and those having represented multiple times the same constituency resulting in stagnancy like former Union Ministers Jayant Sinha, Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

The announcement of the first list of candidates is likely to be in similar fashion as was during the last General Election in 2019 also, when the BJP had announced 164 candidates weeks before the elections were announced.

Modi has set a target of 400 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, with the BJP will win at least 370 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, and the National Democratic Alliance will cross the 400 mark.

The target has been scaled up to 370 plus seats in the Lok Sabha, by adding 370 more votes in each polling booth. To achieve this target, UP is the most important State for the saffron party. Uttar Pradesh, which sends the largest chunk of members to the Lok Sabha, formed the backbone of the BJP's sweeping victories in 2014 and 2019, especially in north India.

The BJP won 71 seats in 2014 (73 with allies), its highest tally so far, and 62 (64 with allies) in 2019. The most impressive Lok Sabha performance in UP has been by the Bharatiya Lok Dal in 1977, when it swept all the 85 seats in the state at the time.

More than 96 crore voters across the country will be eligible to vote in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls for which the Election Commission will set up approximately 12 lakh polling booths. 

In 2019, the BJP won 303 seats bagging close to 23 crore or nearly 37 per cent of the total votes polled.  Effective booth management has been one of the hallmarks of the new BJP under Shah and Modi. Using both online and offline affordances, the party has optimised the turnout of its support base on the polling day. The Gujarat model, replicated in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Assembly polls last year, is a case in point.

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