RAIPUR: The BJP's list of candidates for 78 of the 90 Assembly seats in Chhattisgarh seems to have been influenced by considerations of caste.
Farmers, women and younger leaders figure prominently in the list. As many as 53 candidates are from well-off farming backgrounds, 14 are women and those in the fray from 25 constituencies are below the age of 40 years.
Interestingly the party has kept its faith in 12 leaders who were defeated in the 2013 polls, while 13 sitting legislators, including Cabinet minister Ramsheela Sahu, have been denied tickets.
The party has also released the names for the 29 seats reserved for scheduled tribes and the 10 reserved for scheduled castes in the state. The candidates for the remaining 12 seats are to be declared in the near future, the party stated.
"The BJP has given tickets to a good many old faces, apparently to quell any resentment or avoid antagonising their influential leaders, though the winnability factor obviously remains one of the reasons during the selection process. With 15 years of rule in the state, one can't deny the anti-incumbency factor might affect the polling trends", said political analyst Parivesh Mishra.
Caste equations in the state's politics remain a major factor, particularly during elections. The party has offered 10 tickets to the Sahu community, and five to Kurmis, with the Brahmins and Agrawals getting four each. Across the plains the OBCs, with around 45 per cent population, are a major factor.
The Jain community got three tickets but none among the 78 candidates are Muslim, Sikh or Christian.
Former Congress working president Ram Dayal Uike, who joined the BJP previous week in the presence of the party chief Amit Shah will contest from his earlier seat of Pali-Tanakhar in Korba district. Raman Singh will be contesting from Rajnandgaon seat for the third time in a row.
The Election Commission of India will conduct polling in two-phases - November 12 and November 20 for 90 seats, in Chhattisgarh.