BHOPAL: A cautious Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) avoided deep surgery in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, as the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the saffron outfit dropped only 38 sitting legislators, including two ministers, from the party’s first list of 177 candidates that it released on Friday.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be contesting from Budhni constituency. State heavyweights — Yashodhara Raje and Narottam Mishra — would be contesting elections from Shivpuri and Datia Assembly constituencies.
The BJP on Friday also netted a former MLA and MP from the Congress Premchand Guddu, who is being counted to beef up the party’s support base among the Dalits. Ministers Harsh Singh and Maya Singh were dropped along with as many as nine sitting women legislators.
One of the sources cited above said names of candidates in the Indore region, which accounts for about 25 Assembly seats, were held on account of local MP and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s absence from the meeting due to prior engagements.
The BJP has also opted to give tickets to kin of a few of the sitting legislators who were axed. The party is still deciding on tickets for several high-profile leaders.
According to the officials, while BJP national president Amit Shah was keen on dropping more than one-third of the sitting legislators in the state, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is learnt to have come to the rescue of a number of MLAs.
The BJP is likely to release 53 more names for the state in the coming days, said the officials.
Hectic ongoing parleys for Rajasthan appear to have delayed the CEC from releasing the list of candidates for the state, which is now likely to be done next week, said an official.
Though the CEC was slated to take up deliberations for the list of candidates from Rajasthan, last minute parleys between Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Shah delayed it, he said.
“The BJP chief has made it clear to the state unit, including the chief minister, that they could submit one name against an Assembly seat for up to 50 constituencies, while there should be at least three probables against the remaining 150 seats in the state. The CEC will again meet next week to finalise the Rajasthan list,” said a senior BJP functionary.
BJP’s first list for Madhya Pradesh:
- 177 candidates in first list.
- 38 sitting legislators dropped.
- 2 ministers among those axed.
- 53 more names to be announced soon.
- 25 Assembly seats in Indore but names not out.