In a move that is seen as highly strategic rather than conventional, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has unveiled its list of candidates for the forthcoming Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh even before the official poll dates are announced.
In the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly, BJP has announced the names of 21 candidates. On the other hand, Madhya Pradesh, with a 230-member house, has 39 candidates from the party.
A day earlier, a meeting of the BJP’s central election committee was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. What does this show if not a determination to address any likely friction within the party ahead of time?
Unprecedented, But Strategic
This announcement marks an unprecedented move in the history of the BJP, evoking mixed reactions.
Party strategists argue that it allows sufficient time to iron out any internal conflicts, thereby lending cohesiveness to the campaign.
Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, along with Rajasthan, Telangana, and Mizoram, are headed for polls later this year.
The ruling party in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan is expected to face a tough fight. In Mizoram, the BJP’s alliance with the ruling Mizo National Front seems to be on shaky grounds due to the ongoing unrest in Manipur.
In Madhya Pradesh, a closely contested battle between the BJP and Congress is anticipated.
Remarkable Inclusions and Omissions
In Chhattisgarh, the list featured the unexpected inclusion of the name of Vijay Baghel, a Lok Sabha MP from Durg, who has been fielded from his former seat, Patan.
Conversely, noticeable omissions from the list included former Chief Minister Raman Singh and other senior party leaders. Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other prominent ministers were conspicuously absent from the first list.
This unprecedented move by the BJP, the early announcement of candidates for the Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, is a loaded one, signaling the party’s resolve to salvage its image and regain the political high ground.
This strategic shake-up, which some see as the unveiling of a new political playbook, will undoubtedly resonate throughout the forthcoming electoral contests.