The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday decided to drop all its 10 sitting MPs from Chhattisgarh, a decision that comes in the wake of the party's drubbing in recent assembly elections.Â BJP general secretary Anil Jain, who is also in charge of the state, said the party has decided to face the Lok Sabha elections with "new candidates and fresh energy" to make it victorious under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chhattisgarh BJP in-charge & National General Secretary Anil Jain: BJP will change all sitting MPs in the state in this election, CEC has approved it. We will bring 11 new candidates and win on all 11 seats. pic.twitter.com/glRCKfFfgMâ€” ANI (@ANI) March 19, 2019
Jain said the state BJP made the proposal to drop the MPs to the central election committee of the party, which gave its nod. Former chief minister Raman Singh is likely to be the party's candidate from Rajnandgaon, sources said. The state sends 11 MPs to the Lok Sabha.Â
"We have decided to fight the elections with new candidates and new zeal," Jain told reporters.
The announcement underscores the BJP's bid to wrest its lost territory back from the Congress, which handed it a massive defeat in the assembly polls last year.
The Congress had won 68 seats, reducing the tally of the BJP, which was in power in the state for 15 years, to a mere 15. The difference in the vote share of the two parties was a huge 10 per cent.
The BJP is also considering not to field any family member of these sitting MPs, sources said. If the party indeed adopts this criterion, the likely candidature of former chief minister Raman Singh, whose son Abhishek Singh is a sitting Member of Parliament, will also be in question.
(With PTI inputs)