Chhattisgarh: BJP keeps up promise of dropping sitting candidates, but few fresh faceshttps://indianexpress.com/article/explained/bjp-first-list-candidates-lok-sabha-elections-2019-chhattisgarh-5637385/

Chhattisgarh: BJP keeps up promise of dropping sitting candidates, but few fresh faces

Even as the central leadership said that decision was to bring in new faces, of the five, only two are such. One is Gomti Sai, that has replaced Union Minister Vishnu Dev Sai, and the other is Mohan Mandavi, replacing BJP state president Vikram Usendi.

In first list for Chhattisgarh, BJP fields new candidates, three former MP, MLAs and a former minister
Prime minister Narendra Modi with BJP president Amit shah for CEC meeting at BJP head office (File/ Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Two days after the BJP took the controversial decision to drop all its sitting candidates, it has stayed true to its word in its first list of 5 names. But for the state BJP unit, the message at the moment seems muddled.

Even as the central leadership said that decision was to bring in new faces, of the five, only two are such. One is Gomti Sai, that has replaced Union Minister Vishnu Dev Sai, and the other is Mohan Mandavi, replacing BJP state president Vikram Usendi.

Read | In first list for Chhattisgarh, five picks from BJP; two new candidates

The other three, Renuka Singh, Baiduram Kashyap and Guharam Ajgale have all been either MP or MLA in the past, with Singh even a minister. With the party still struggling to placate seniors like Ramesh Bais, Sai and Dinesh Kashyap, they run the risk of damage from within if the state leaders are not taken into confidence and anger assuaged.

And if the idea was to enthuse the cadre with new faces after the loss in the assembly elections, some of these selections may need more explanation.