Lok Sabha polls: BJP CEC meeting concludes; 90 candidates finalized, say sources

New Delhi [India]: The second meeting of the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) concluded here in the national capital late on Monday night, with the names of approximately 90 candidates being finalized for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, sources said.

According to the party sources, names of about 90 candidates across seven states were finalized in the meeting which was held at BJP headquarters in Delhi. An official announcement on the same is expected by the party soon, they said.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP national president JP Nadda, among others.

Union Ministers Anurag Thakur, Prahlad Joshi, Nityanand Rai, party MPs Sushil Modi, CR Patil, Telangana State President Kishan Reddy, Himachal LoP Jairam Thakur, Himachal in-charge Shrikant Sharma, Karnataka former CMs BS Yeddyurappa, Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka state president Vijendra Yeddyurappa, Karnataka LoP R Ashok, Bihar Deputy CM Samrat Chaudhary, Madhya Pradesh CM Mohan Yadav, Deputy CM Rajendra Shukla, and Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel were also present.

As per the sources, discussions were held regarding the Lok Sabha seats of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, and Telangana. However, due to ongoing coalition talks in Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha, there might be delays in finalizing candidate lists for these states, the sources said.

They said that discussions were held for all remaining 11 seats in Gujarat, and names for seven seats have been finalized.

Talks for the remaining five seats in Madhya Pradesh concluded with a consensus reached on four seats. Deliberations were held on candidate names for 25 seats in Maharashtra, eight seats in Telangana, and all 28 seats in Karnataka. However, sources said that JD(S) is likely to secure three seats in Karnataka. Additionally, discussions for all four seats in Himachal Pradesh also held, sources said.

Proposed alliances with parties like JD(U), Lok Janshakti Party, and others in Bihar, AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, JJP in Haryana, and BJD in Odisha have not yet finalized seat-sharing arrangements.

On March 2, the BJP released its first list of 195 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, topped by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will seek his third straight term in the Lower House from Varanasi.

Of the 195 candidates, 34 are ministers from the Center and States, while two are former chief ministers who are on the list.

In 2019, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won a total of 303 seats, leaving the grand-old party behind at 52 seats. The Lok Sabha polls are expected to be held sometime between April and May this year.

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