BJP Holds Back-To-Back Meetings For Lok Sabha Poll Strategy In 5 States

Sources said the party is expected to release its first list of 100 candidates, including PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, next week.

BJP Holds Back-To-Back Meetings For Lok Sabha Poll Strategy In 5 States

The BJP may declare candidates early for seats it is perceived to be weak in.

New Delhi:

Ahead of the expected announcement of the Lok Sabha polls by the Election Commission next month, the BJP is likely to release the names of a whopping 100 candidates on Thursday. The list is expected to feature both of the party's heaviest hitters - Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah - sources have told NDTV.

The Central Election Committee of the BJP is likely to meet on February 29, the sources said, adding that the announcement of the first list of candidates may be made after that. The first list will be crucial because the ruling party has set itself a mammoth target of winning 370 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats and is working towards securing 400 seats for the NDA. 

PM Modi is the MP from Varanasi, a constituency he has won twice. He was elected with a huge margin of 3.37 lakh votes in 2014 and had increased it to 4.8 lakh in 2019. Amit Shah had contested the 2019 election from Gandhinagar, a seat that had been held by BJP veteran LK Advani until then. 

The BJP is, meanwhile, holding a string of meetings on Saturday to decide on the election strategy for five states, including Uttar Pradesh, which sends the maximum number of MPs to the Lok Sabha.
The meeting on Uttar Pradesh was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah and saw the participation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak, and Minister Dharampal Singh, among others. In the 2019 election, the BJP had won 62 of the state's 80 seats.

The Uttar Pradesh meeting will be followed by discussions on West Bengal, Telangana, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma and his Chhattisgarh counterpart Vishnu Deo Sai are in New Delhi for the meetings.

Sources said the discussions will be around the constituencies in the states that the BJP is perceived to be weak in, and the list of candidates for those seats is likely to be declared early. 

'100 Days Crucial'

Last week, the Prime Minister had urged BJP leaders and workers to work diligently towards fulfilling the party's aim of winning 370 seats and had told them that the next 100 days will be crucial. 

"In the next 100 days, we all have to reach out to every new voter, every beneficiary, every community. We have to win everyone's trust. To take the NDA to 400, BJP will have to cross the mark of 370 (seats)," the PM had said at the party's national convention.

Reiterating that he was not seeking a third term to enjoy the perks of power but because he wanted to continue working for the nation, he had said, "A senior leader once told me I had done enough as Prime Minister and chief minister and I should rest. But I am working for 'rashtraniti', not 'rajneeti'."