Assembly polls: BJP likely to field Union ministers, MPs in poll-bound states

The move could dilute Vasundra Raje’s claim for CM post in Rajasthan

Vasundhara Raje (File) Union Home Minister Amit Shah with former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje during the closing ceremony of the state working committee meeting in Jaipur | PTI

The BJP has aimed for the first mover advantage as it released two lists of candidates for the Madhya Pradesh elections much ahead of its rivals. 

BJP's big strategic move this election has been its decision to announce central ministers and members of parliament as candidates for assembly polls. The same move is now expected in Rajasthan, where the BJP can ask its central leaders, including ministers and MPs to contest the polls.

Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief J.P. Nadda landed in Jaipur on Wednesday to hold talks with the party’s core group. The two leaders held marathon meetings to iron out differences between the state leaders over their projection and ticket distribution.

Former state BJP chief Satish Poonia said that the message given by the two leaders, Shah and Nadda, was to contest the elections strongly and win them. “We will put in all efforts and make BJP win with majority.” 

Sources said the party could follow the Madhya Pradesh formula of fielding central ministers and MPs. In this regard, the names of Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Arjun Meghwal and Kailash Chowdhury could be asked to contest assembly polls; MPs like Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Diya Kumari, Kirodi Lal Meena, Sukhbir Jaunpuriya are also likely to make the shift.

By fielding the central leaders the BJP has made it clear that it will go for collective leadership. If the central leaders are fielded then former CM Vasundhara Raje’s claim to the post is diluted as there will be several contenders now apart from the state leaders. Rajasthan presents the best chance for the BJP to win elections as the state has elected an alternative government each term, and because of anti-incumbency against the Ashok Gehlot government.

The party had earlier asked Union Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy to helm the campaign in the state as he was made state party chief. He is also likely to contest the assembly polls along with other MPs. The party may field MPs in Chhattisgarh too.

In Madhya Pradesh, the party had fielded three ministers including Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Singh Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste. The move came after the PM’s rally in Bhopal.

The PM had held a rally in Jaipur the same day, on September 25. His next rallies in Rajasthan are being planned for October 2 and October 5, before the announcement of elections.


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