Monday, April 19, 2021

BJP CEC expected to meet on Saturday, clear candidates for poll-bound states

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The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) central election committee (CEC) will hold a meeting on Saturday for discussing the names of candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls in Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Puducherry, news agency ANI reported.

The committee had met on Thursday to finalise party candidates for the initial phases of assembly polls in West Bengal and Assam, two of the four states going to the elections besides the union territory of Puducherry.

The committee, which includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Amit Shah and party president Jagat Prakash Nadda, met at the BJP headquarters along with other members.

The CEC may clear the names of the candidates for most of the seats in the two states where elections will be held in the first two phases on March 27 and April 1, news agency PTI reported.

While the third and last phase of polling in Assam will be held on April 6, West Bengal is scheduled to undergo elections in eight phases ending on April 29.

Bengal is set to witness a high-pitched contest as chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her former aide and now BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram seat have been pitted against each other.

Polling in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will take place in a single phase on April 6.

The upcoming polls have set the tone for a fierce political battle between regional parties and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP has high stakes in West Bengal and Assam. In Bengal, it has mounted an aggressive, all-out campaign, deploying a battery of leaders and state heads to end the 10-year-old reign of chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress party.

In Assam, where the party came to power for the first time in 2016, the BJP has been pulling out all the stops to retain power, with the Congress joining hands with regional parties to capture its old bastion.

Before the CEC meeting, top BJP leaders like Shah and Nadda have held long deliberations with Assam party leaders, including chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, and those from Bengal, including state party chief Dilip Ghosh.

(With inputs from PTI)

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