New Delhi :
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced its first list of candidates for the upcoming Rajasthan Assembly elections late on Sunday night. The names of 131 candidates were announced by Union Minister JP Nadda following BJP’s central election committee (CEC) meeting.
The meeting was headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended by top BJP leaders, including party president Amit Shah, Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje.
The BJP has fielded Raje from her traditional Jhalrapatan Assembly seat in Jhalawar district. She has been contesting from this seat since 2003. The party has also fielded its Lok Sabha MP Sona Ram Choudhary.
In the first list of candidates, 85 sitting MLAs have been retained, while 25 news faces have also been given tickets. The party has also given tickets to 12 women.
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“Party candidates for all the seats we’re discussed in the meeting. Names of other nominees will be announced soon,” Nadda told reporters after the BJP CEC meeting.
The election for the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly is scheduled to be held on December 7 in a single phase. The BJP is facing a stiff challenge from the Opposition Congress with most Opinion polls predicting a one-sided victory for the Grand Old Party.
In 2013 Assembly elections, the BJP had won 163 of the 200 Assembly seats in the state, giving the Congress its worst ever drubbing.
In Rajasthan, the incumbent party has not retained power in the last two decades and it is highly unlikely the BJP will break the jinx this time, given the massive anti-incumbency CM Raje is facing.