The Bharatiya Janata Party has released the third list of its electoral candidates past Friday midnight, listing 36 candidates from Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam and Meghalaya for the forthcoming general election, within less than a month.
The third list includes names of 23 nominees for Andhra Pradesh where polling will be held in the first phase on April 11, 6 from Maharashtra, 5 from Odisha and one each from Assam and Meghalaya. But the highlight of the list released on Friday past midnight was that it scotched away the speculations that PM Narendra Modi might contest for a second seat from Puri in Odisha – as BJP allotted the Puri ticket to Odisha’s party spokesperson Sambit Patra. For Maharashtra, BJP dropped sitting MP Anil Shirole and fielded Girish Bapat for the upcoming election.
For Assam, BJP has put trust on State Minister Pallab Lochan Das for Tezpur seat, replacing the sitting MP Ram Prasad Sharma; and BJP has also dropped out Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma considering his role as convenor of the North Eastern Democratic Alliance (NEDA). The forays of the third list containing 36 candidates brought more surprises that the first and second list; but the possibility of dropping away senior stalwarts like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi shows brings BJP’s electoral agenda for 2019 into light.
BJP had earlier announced the first list consisting of 184 candidates – including the party’s heavyweights like PM Modi, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari, VK Singh. As a matter of fact, the first list underlines the party’s confidence in its turf state – Uttar Pradesh with most of its big-heads participating from there. This list was followed by release of candidates from union territories Daman and Diu – tallying for the second list; and followed up by third.