BJP Fields 18 MPs, Including 4 Union Ministers
In New Delhi: For the most recent round of assembly elections, the BJP has so far fielded 18 MPs, including four Union ministers: seven in Madhya Pradesh, four in Rajasthan, and four in Chhattisgarh. Seventeen of them including three Union Ministers who ran in Madhya Pradesh, are members of the Lok Sabha, and the majority of them were chosen for relatively challenging assembly seats that the party has previously lost.
The party on Monday announced fresh lists of candidates for Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, will run from his traditional Budhni seat in the November 17 assembly elections, the BJP declared today. With this announcement, the BJP has made all 136 of its candidates for the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly.
In its most recent list of candidates for the state, the names of former Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh and state BJP president Arun Sao appeared bringing the total number of seats in the 90-member assembly for which it has announced candidates to 85.
Three MPs, including Union Minister Renuka Singh, also featured in the second list of 64 candidates for Chhattisgarh.
By fielding so many regional heavyweights including Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar Faggan Singh Kulaste and Prahlad Singh Patel in Madhya Pradesh, a state where it is in power and is up against a determined challenge from the Congress, the BJP has sent a message about its steadfast efforts to put its best foot forward.
Party insiders claimed that running experienced leaders in the assembly elections also helps to diffuse factional conflicts because they are more well-liked. The burden of securing a strong showing for the party in their seats and neighboring constituencies they claimed also raises the stakes for the satraps vying for important positions in administration and organization.
Rajsamand MP Diya Kumari and Jaipur Rural MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore are among the BJP candidates from Rajasthan.
Ms. Kumari will run for office in the Vidhyadhar Nagar district of Jaipur, while Mr. Rathore, a former Union minister and retired Army officer has been fielded in the Jhotwara district of Jaipur.
BJP MLA Narpat Singh Rajvi, a five-time MLA and the son-in-law of former vice president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat now holds the Vidhyadhar Nagar seat.
The remaining 40 constituencies for which the BJP announced its candidates are held by the ruling Congress and other parties.
Narendra Kumar, a member of parliament from Jhunjhunu, will run from Mandawa; Baba Balaknath, a member of parliament from Alwar, Bhagirath Choudhary, a member of parliament from Ajmer, Devji Patel, a member of parliament from Jalore, and Meena a member of parliament from Sawai Madhopur.
While Chhattisgarh will hold elections in two phases on November 7 (20 seats) and 17 (70 seats), Madhya Pradesh will hold single-phase assembly elections on November 17, Rajasthan on November 23, Telangana on November 30, and Mizoram on November 7. These dates were announced at a press conference here by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar.
In Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan the BJP and the Congress will square off directly. The two parties are also vying for the presidency in Telangana, where the Bharat Rashtra Samithi, led by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is seeking a third consecutive term.