New Delhi/Raipur, Oct 17: All eyes are on the BJP central leadership for clearing the names of party candidates for the crucial two phase November 12 and November 20 assembly elections to the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly.
The state unit of the party and the screening committee has shortlisted names of candidates - at least three or four in each seat, according to sources. "We have shortlisted the names and these will be now forwarded to the central leadership. BJP central election committee will take the final call," a party source said in Raipur.
In a late night deliberation on Tuesday at Raipur, Chief Minister Raman Singh and senior leaders including the party in-charge Anil Jain discussed in details on the probable names. "Chief Minister and senior leaders will be rushing to Delhi for crucial meet. May be the first list of the candidates will come by October 20-21," the source said.
According to sources, appreciating the gravity of the challenge and as because there was small margin in 2013 assembly polls, the party leadership is in favour of fielding at least two-three sitting MPs.
Among others, Ambikapur MP Kamalbhan Singh Marabi and Bilaspur MP Lakhanlal Sahu are being considered for the same move. "We may have half a dozen MPs finally contesting. The focus is on winnaibility obviously," the source said. The party's poll strategists are laying emphasis on reaping maximum outcome from the Bastar region which has 18 seats.
Sources also said that among the ticket aspirants some of them also came with their supporters and tried to impress upon the Chief Minister by raising slogans and trying to request him to consider their candidatures. On his arrival at the party office, however, Chief Minister did not speak but spotted a smile and went inside the party for the meeting.
Sources said some ticket aspirants also met Anil Jain and state unit president Dharmlal Kaushik separately and placed their request. Some party workers reportedly tried to impress the state leadership that party leader Labh Chand Bafna from Saja constituency should not be fielded, sources said.
A party source maintained BJP will record a convincing victory in the polls as there is a “groundswell of support” for Chief Minister Raman Singh. In a recent meeting with intelligentsia at state capital, BJP national president Amit Shah described the Chief Minister as an "invincible warrior" and said the latter deserves to get the fourth term in office. UNI