LS polls begin; BJP yet to finalise candidates for 31 seats
New Delhi: The Lok Sabha elections of 2019 have begun on Thursday with the voting in 91 seats of 20 states, but the ruling BJP is still yet to announce name of candidates for approximate 31 seats. Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are among the states.
So far, the party has declared 403 candidates for the seven-phased parliamentary elections. In many seats, BJP is facing a quagmire that has left senior leaders and ticket aspirants baffled.
For Delhi, the filing of nominations for all seven seats will commence on April 16. But the three main parties - Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janta Party and Congress are yet to finalize the names.
Sources said BJP is waiting for the Congress-AAP deal to get finalised. The mongering buzz indicates that there will be a major reshuffle in the saffron quarter this time.
Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, former Aam Admi Party leader Kumar Vishwas and former IPS officer Deepak Mishra are the floating names to replace few BJP existing parliamentarians. The last date for filing of nomination is April 23 in Delhi.
In Madhya Pradesh, the party is yet to decide its candidates for its strongholds - Bhopal, Vidisha and Indore. In Bhopal, the party plans to field Sadhvi Pragya Bharti or former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, where Congress is also likely to field the party veteran and former CM, Digvijaya Singh. Similarly, party sources said that for the Indore seat, the top brass has selected the name of the mayor Malini Gaur. However, she is already holding two posts- MLA and mayor of Indore. Even, candidates for Khajuraho, Guna-Shivpuri, Sagar, Dhar and Ratlam-Jhabua are yet to be decided.
In Rajasthan, Dausa is yet to get its BJP candidate. This is one of the twelve constituencies which will go to polls in the second phase on May 6.
According to the party sources, BJP leader Kirori Meena is demanding a ticket for his wife and former MLA Golma Devi, whereas independent MLA Omprakash Hudla, with support from former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, is also staking a claim for the seat. The BJP is contesting on 24 out of the total 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state. It has fielded Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) leader Hanuman Beniwal from Nagaur seat.
Meanwhile, the saffron party further banks on 13 more allies in this election, where it had 16 parties to depend on in 2014. Though BJP is pitching the fight this time on "Modi versus all" and "Kaamdar versus Naamdar" face-off, but experts opine that the party leadership has gone about carefully suturing alliances in all key states-taking into account that the Prime Minister alone might not be enough to thrust to retain power.
The party had nominated 428 candidates among the 545 seats. However, there is twist and twirl in the equation this time. Party sources said that this time BJP may field around 434 candidates.