The Durg MP had polled 54.4% of the votes in Patan segment of his LS constituency and the leadership obviously expects him to complicate matters for CM Baghel on the latter’s home turf.
The party has come out with the first list of its candidates for the two states months ahead of elections, in a break from its usual practice.
The lists announced on Thursday for both Chhattisgarh and MP cover assembly seats which the party considers as tough. The idea behind naming candidates so early is to help them prepare better and demonstrate the intent not to concede anything.
BJP lists cover several SC/ST reserved seats
The lists name five women each in the two states and contain a large number of SC and ST reserved constituencies where the saffron party had suffered serious reverses in the 2018 polls. BJP has named its national SC Morcha chief Lal Singh Arya as the candidate from Gohad in Madhya Pradesh.
The candidates were decided at BJP’s Central Election Committee meeting on Wednesday, which was chaired by party chief J P Nadda and attended by PM Narendra Modi as well as Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah among other senior leaders.
In Chhattisgarh, BJP has fielded Bhulan Singh Maravi from Premnagar, Laxmi Rajwade from Bhatgaon, Shakuntala Singh Porthe from Pratappur (ST), Sarla Kosaria from Saraipali (SC), Alka Chandrakar from Khallari, Gita Ghasi Sahu from Khujji and Maniram Kashyap from Bastar (ST), among others.
Madhya Pradesh polls: BJP sparks political momentum, releases first list of candidates
In MP, it has named Sarla Vijendra Rawat from Sabalgarh, Priyanka Meena from Chachaoura, Lalita Yadav from Chhatarpur, Anchal Sonkar from Jabalpur Purba (SC), Nirmala Bhuriya from Petlawad, Bhanu Bhuriya from Jhabua (ST), Alok Sharma from Bhopal Uttar and Dhruv Narayan Singh from Bhopal Madhya, among others.
The party’s decision to announce the first list of candidates so early underlines the significance it has attached to the five state elections, the last round of assembly contest before the Lok Sabha polls. In 2019, BJP had won only 15 of the 90 seats in Chhattisgarh assembly against 68 of Congress while its tally was 109 against 114 of Congress in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly.
BJP plans strategy for tough seats in MP, Chhattisgarh; take stock of election preparations in CEC Meeting