Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017: BJP brass delay release of candidate list, keep ticket hopefuls on tenterhooks

The Congress, the main opponent of the BJP in Gujarat, has also not released its list of candidates so far. The process of candidate selection has been going on for a month in Gujarat.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: November 16, 2017 7:46 am
BJP delays release of candidate list for Gujarat elections Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Express Photo/Renuka Puri)

Anxiety mounted among BJP ticket hopefuls in Gujarat after the party central election committee, which met Wednesday to discuss names of its candidates for the assembly elections in the state next month, did not release any list. Party leaders in the state had done extensive groundwork on the list of probables.

“Discussion for most of the seats for the Gujarat election have been done, list will be declared at the right time,” Union Minister J P Nadda told reporters after the meeting at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.
The meeting lasted more than three hours and was attended, among others, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel and state BJP president Jitu Vaghani.

With no list being put out after the deliberations, sitting MLAs appeared most worried, unsure if they would be handed tickets again. The Congress, the main opponent of the BJP in Gujarat, has also not released its list of candidates so far. The process of candidate selection has been going on for a month in Gujarat. BJP leaders held extensive district-level meetings late last month and prepared a list which was sent for consideration to the party’s state election committee. Members of the state panel met on November 10 -11 and proposed names, reportedly three each, for 182 constituencies.

BJP sources said with the Congress focusing on caste consolidation in Gujarat, the leadership could take time to ensure caste balancing in ticket distribution. The BJP, sources said, would also like to see the Congress list of candidates and distribution of seats before coming out with its own list.

Party leaders said many legislators are nervous about their prospects of getting tickets again. In 2007, Modi had denied tickets to 47 sitting MLAs and 30 in 2012. A party leader said some sitting MLAs may not be repeated this election to beat any anti-incumbency factor that may exist.

In the run-up to the elections, to be held in two phases on December 9 and December 14, the BJP and the Congress have been indulging in a fierce war of words. Amit Shah has predicted 150 seats for his party.

BJP names Karnataka council candidates

The BJP Wednesday announced names of candidates for all six seats for the Karnataka legislative council election. Ayanur Manjunath has been named candidate for South-West Graduates Constituency, Ganesh Karnik for South-West Teachers Constituency, B Niranjan Murthy for South Teachers Constituency, K B Shrinivas for North-East Graduates Constituency, Haalanur S Lepakshi for South-East Teachers Constituency and A Deve Gowda for Bangalore Graduates Constituency.

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