BJP Plans To Field Five MPs From Chhattisgarh As Candidates In Assembly Elections

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New Delhi: To minimize the risk of not getting majority, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is considering fielding at least five of its ten MPs from Chhattisgarh as candidates in next month’s two-phase assembly elections.

The reason why the ruling BJP wants to field top-notch leaders against Congress stalwarts is that the difference in votes between the parties was less than one percentage point in the 2013 assembly elections, a senior BJP leader from Chhattisgarh privy to candidate-selection talks said.

“Since the winning margin in Chhattisgarh is very low, we are focusing on each and every seat of the state. The aim is to target some stalwarts of the Congress in their own bastion... We have yet to finalise the names but a few MPs will definitely fight this election,” the BJP leader mentioned above said.

While the party is set to nominate three MPs, the names of two others who wish to contest are being considered, party leaders privy to the discussion on candidate selection said.

The BJP is likely to announce the first list of candidates by October 20, which will include nominees for 18 seats from the Bastar region affected by Maoist violence going to polls on Nov 12.

“The party is yet to decide the candidate list and meetings are going on. As far as MPs are concerned, the names of some are under process but a final decision is yet to be taken,” said BJP spokesperson Sacchidanand Upasane. State party president Dharamlal Kaushik refused to comment.

According to senior BJP leaders, the three sitting MPs who may contest are Ambikapur MP Kamalbhan Singh Marabi, Bilaspur MP Lakhanlal Sahu, and Kanker MP Vikram Dev Usendi.

Marabi is likely to be fielded against leader of opposition and Congress Rajput leader TS Singhdeo from Sarguja constituency. The party is yet to decide on the seats for Sahu and Usendi.

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