The BJP today announced first lists of candidates for Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh due later this year. This is the first time the BJP has announced names of candidates even before the Election Commission of India announces the poll dates.
The party has announced 21 candidates for the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly and 39 for the 230-member Madhya Pradesh house.
The announcement comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the BJP’s central election committee, the party’s decision-making body for selection of candidates and preparation of poll strategies.
The BJP leadership’s unprecedented decision to announce candidates’ names well in advance appears to be aimed at identifying friction within the ranks and resolve issues well in advance.
Following the poll setback in Karnataka earlier this year, the party is in no mood for another debacle. Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are among five states going to polls later this year, along with Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram.
Out of these, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are ruled by Opposition forces. In Mizoram, BJP’s ties with ally and ruling party Mizo National Front are strained in the wake of the Manipur unrest. And in Madhya Pradesh, a neck-to-neck fight is expected between the BJP and the Congress.