BJP releases first list of 21 candidates for Chhattisgarh polls, 39 for MP elections; MP Vijay Baghel fielded from Patan

New Delhi: The BJP on Thursday released its first of 21 candidates for Chhattisgarh and 39 for Madhya Pradesh, including five women each in both the states, for the upcoming assembly polls which are yet to be announced.

The party has fielded Vijay Baghel, its Durg MP, from Patan which is currently represented by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel.

The names were decided at the BJP’s Central Election Committee meeting on Wednesday which was chaired by party chief J P Nadda and attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah among other senior leaders.

In Chhattisgarh, the BJP has fielded Baghel from Patan, 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.

In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has fielded 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 five state elections, the last round of assembly contest before the all-important Lok Sabha polls. Besides Chhattisgarh and MP, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram are scheduled to go to polls later this year.

The BJP is in power only in Madhya Pradesh and is running an intense campaign to oust the Congress government in Chhattisgarh.

The BJP in 2018 had won only 15 of the 90 seats in the Chhattisgarh assembly against 68 of the Congress while its tally of seats was 109 against 114 of the Congress in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly.