BJP holds parleys before coming out with first list

These candidatures are expected to be announced by March 7 or possibly sooner.
Labourers make flags of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, in Mathura, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.
Labourers make flags of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, in Mathura, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.Photo |PTI

NEW DELHI: Top BJP leaders on Wednesday deliberated on potential candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, particularly focusing on seats identified as ‘weak’ for the party, ahead of its Central Election Committee meeting scheduled on Thursday.

High-ranking leaders of the BJP’s central leadership, including the party’s principal strategist and Home Minister Amit Shah and party national president JP Nadda, had detailed discussions on prospective candidates for several high-profile LS seats. These candidatures are expected to be announced by March 7 or possibly sooner.

According to sources, Shah and Nadda held separate meetings with party leaders from various states, including Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. In these meetings, a number of ‘weak’ seats were identified for the 2024 LS polls.

A party insider hinted that the first list of candidates might bring surprises by introducing some new names for prominent LS seats. “The first list after the CEC meeting is also expected to include names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Union ministers Smriti Irani, Anurag Thakur and others,” suggested a BJP leader.

“There is a strong possibility that the first list of candidates will cover dozens of those LS seats categorised as ‘weak’ for the party based on the performance of the 2019 LS elections,” hinted a party source. As part of a meticulously crafted strategy for the 2024 LS elections, the BJP has identified 161 LS seats across the country, mainly from South India, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where party candidates either narrowly lost or performed poorly in 2019.

“So far, several rounds of meetings with leaders from Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana have been held regarding candidate selection for the upcoming LS polls. The party’s top-ranking think tank meticulously assessed the candidates’ winnability and other factors crucial for the final results,” said a senior BJP leader.

Weak seats identified

Union Home Minister and BJP’s principal strategist Amit Shah and party chief Nadda held separate meetings with leaders from various states, including Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. In these meetings, a number of seats that were ‘weak’ for the party were identified, based on the 2019 performance.

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