Union Home minister Amit Shah chaired a meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) core committee members as the party hit the ground for the upcoming assembly elections in Gujarat.
The second round of the meeting was held at Kamalam, the party headquarters in Gandhinagar, with top leaders including Chief minister Bhupendra Patel, Union minister Parshottam Rupala, former CM Vijay Rupani, former deputy CM Nitin Patel, state president CR Patil and others.
The BJP, which has been in power in the state of Gujarat since 1995, has made a list of probable candidates after party observers travelled to all 33 districts, spoke to claimants, and took feedback from local leaders.
Over 4000 aspirants have sought tickets from the BJP for 182 assembly seats. On Thursday, some 47 seats were discussed in 13 districts. On Friday, some 58 seats were discussed in some 15 districts. The meeting will continue on Saturday for the remaining seats.
On Friday, over 100 seats were discussed, which will later be passed on to the party’s parliamentary board to finalise the list. It is expected that the final list of candidates will be announced by next week.
The three-day meeting, chaired by Shah, is crucial as the image of the candidate, works done by the candidate, caste and social composition are discussed to shortlist the names.
Though the BJP recently reshuffled the cabinet to fight the anti-incumbency factor, sources told The New Indian that incumbent MLAs will be on the radar and many will be dropped.
Sources also said that the party is looking for young faces, youth icons, and female candidates. Some tribal faces will also be given priority.
The districts discussed for candidature so far are Gandhinagar, Mehsana, Amreli, Botad, Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Kheda, PanchMahal, Navsari, Bharuch, Jamnagar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Aravalli, Sarbarkantha, Mahisagar, Banasankantha, Surendranagar, Porbandar, Daang, Valsad, Tapi, Narmada, Morbi and Rajkot.
Meanwhile, in the past two months, Shah has done several rounds of Gujarat with many rallies and meetings. While the BJP is looking to maintain its rule in the state, the party is aware of the fact that this time it won’t be a two-horse race between them and Congress.
With the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) making a surprise entry in the local elections in Surat, the BJP is leaving no stone unturned in their quest to stretch their rule in the state, which is home to Prime minister Narendra Modi and Home minister Shah.