Explainer: The big wait for BJP’s first list of candidates for 2024 Lok Sabha election : The Tribune India

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Explainer: The big wait for BJP’s first list of candidates for 2024 Lok Sabha election

First list expected to hold ‘surprises’ and big names; AIADMK has also dared BJP to field Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar from Tamil Nadu

Explainer: The big wait for BJP’s first list of candidates for 2024 Lok Sabha election

PM Narendra Modi and other leaders at the CEC meeting. PTI



Tribune Web Desk

Vibha Sharma

Chandigarh, March 1

After a marathon CEC meeting that carried on till 4 am on Friday, the BJP is expected to release its list of candidates anytime now. 

At the top of the BJP's first list for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha election are expected to be stalwarts Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. 

The list may include some “major surprises” as well. 

Before the CEC, PM Modi held a separate meeting with BJP president JP Nadda and Shah at his residence to exchange notes on important issues, according to reports.   

BJP’s Central Election Committee (CEC) met on Thursday night to finalise the first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls expected in April-May.

The committee is said to have discussed around 161 parliamentary segments, the seats where the party either did not win or won by less than expected margins. These seats are expected to be big game changers in PM Modi’s victory goal of 370 seats for BJP and 400 plus for NDA.

Candidates for the tougher segments may be declared well in advance to achieve the victory target set by PM Modi, say sources.

However, in this endeavour some major changes can also be expected, like dropping of sitting MPs on the basis of their performance.  

Big names

According to reports, the first list may also include former Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. There is also a strong buzz regarding some Union ministers, including Bhupender Yadav, Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar being fielded.

Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia is expected to be fielded from either Gwalior or Guna—the Scindia bastion for decades which he lost last year. 

Jyotiraditya Scindia held this seat between 2002 and 2014 as a member of the Congress.

However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections he lost the seat to BJP’s Krishna Pal Yadav.

Interestingly, a senior AIADMK leader KP Munusamy has dared the BJP to field Sitharaman and Jaishankar from Tamil Nadu. “Two Tamils are Union ministers. One of them is from Tamil Nadu, another one was born and grew up in Tamil Nadu. They are External Affairs Minister Jaishankar and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Is the BJP ready to field them from any constituency in Tamil Nadu?

“If the Bharatiya Janata Party has courage, if it has confidence that the people of Tamil Nadu will vote for them, can they field Nirmala Sitharaman and Jaishankar from any constituency of Tamil Nadu? Then you will come to know about how the people of Tamil Nadu will teach you a lesson,” he was quoted as saying while addressing a public meeting.

AIADMK walked out of the NDA alliance in Tamil Nadu about a few months ago over various issues, including BJP’s state leadership.

Fresh faces, women candidates

The BJP is said to have finalised 100 candidates for the first list, of which many are expected to be fresh faces and women candidates.

Sources say a lot of research and reviews from multiple sources and levels has gone into finalising candidates. This includes feedback from the public, reports from sitting MPs on works undertaken in respective constituencies and reviews from states. 

Ahead of the CEC meeting, the core group of every state met Nadda, Shah and Organisation general secretary BL Santosh to discuss possible candidates for each parliamentary seat.

Ahead of the CEC, a discussion also took place at the Prime Minister's residence on tricky issues and the winnability factor. 

Tickets of those whose performance has not been up to the mark are expected to be cancelled and those not getting nomination this time may include some ministers as well, especially from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, as per reports.

 

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#BJP #Lok Sabha #Nirmala Sitharaman #S Jaishankar #Tamil Nadu


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