The BJP on Sunday night declared a list of 131 candidates for the Rajasthan assembly elections, including 25 new faces and dropping at least one minister.
Sitting minister Surendra Goyal was dropped while senior leader Devi Singh Bhati’s daughter- in-law Poonam Kanwar was given the ticket. Barmer-Jaisalmer MP Col Sonaram was fielded from Barmer seat. His candidature gains significance in view of former BJP MLA Manvendra Singh joining the Congress.
There were several new names in the Shekhawati area where the BJP is on a weak wicket
Addressing a press conference in Delhi, union minister JP Nadda said the party was issuing a list of 131 candidates in which there were 12 women, 32 youth, 17 SC and 19 ST candidates. There are 85 sitting MLAs and 25 new faces in the list, he added, according to ANI.
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje, ministers Gulab Chand Kataria, Rajendra Rathore, Arun Chaturvedi, Shrichand Kriplani, Kiran Maheshwari, Vasudev Devnani, Anita Bhadel and Prabhulal Saini have been repeated.
From Jaipur, while several names were repeated, minister and senior leader Kalicharan Saraf’s name not being included in the first list indicates that he could be dropped.
Filing of nominations will begin from Monday and continue till November 19. Polling will be held on December 7.
The list came after several rounds of talks in Rajasthan and Delhi. The state leaders including chief minister Raje were in Delhi since the last two days to finalize the list.
Meetings were held at Rajasthan election incharge Prakash Javadekar’s residence and between Raje and BJP national president Amit Shah. Meetings continued during the day on Sunday before the parliamentary board meeting in the evening where prime minister Narendra Modi, Shah and other senior leaders were present.
Senior leaders also undertook a detailed feedback from workers, office bearers, and sitting and former MLAs and MPs.
The assembly election is being seen as a semi-final to the 2019 general elections. The BJP is keen to retain power in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
In 2013, the first BJP list of 176 candidates was announced on November 5, the day the nominations began.