Rajasthan: BJP releases names of 131 candidates, retains 85, fields 25 new faces

The BJP under Vasundhara Raje won a whopping 163 of the 200 assembly seats in the state in 2013

The BJP has released the first list of 131 candidates for the 200 members House ahead of Rajasthan assembly elections late on Sunday. As per reports, the party has repeated 85 MLAs and fielded 25 new ones. 26 sitting MLAs have been dropped. The list was announced by Union Minister and secretary of BJP’s Central Election Committee J P Nadda.

The list had given representation to all castes and regions. According to party spokespersons, the list includes 12 women, 32 youths, 17 SC candidates and 19 ST candidates. Candidates for the remaining 69 seats are be announced soon.

Among those detained is Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s aide Rajendra Rathore, who is also a cabinet minister. CM Raje had earlier contested from Jhalrapatan in Jhalawar. This time too she has been declared as a candidate from the same seat

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Assembly Speaker Kailash Meghwal and Deputy Speaker Rao Rajendra Singh have also retained their candidacy. Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria and Higher Education minister Kiran Maheshwari, Social Justice and Empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi and Environment and Youth Affairs minister Gajendra Singh of the incumbent cabinet have also been retained. Co-Operative and Gaupalan minister Ajay Singh, and Urban Development and Housing minister Shrichand Kriplani have also been repeated as candidates.

State Ministers (Independent Charge) who are being repeated as candidates include Amra Ram, Krishnendra Kaur, Primary and Secondary Education minister Vasudev Devnani and Women and Child Development minister Anita Bhadel and State minister for Gaupalan, Otaram Devasi.

Former state BJP president Ashok Parnami has been repeated from Jaipur’s Adarsh Nagar seat while Colonel Sona Ram Choudhary, who is the sitting MP from Barmer, will be contesting from the Barmer assembly seat.

Senior leader and minister, Kalicharan Saraf and transport minister Yoonus Khan’s names has not featured in the first list.

The state leaders including chief minister Raje were in Delhi since the last two days to finalize the list.

Meetings were held at Rajasthan election in-charge Prakash Javadekar’s residence where Raje and BJP national president Amit Shah were also present. Meetings continued during the day on Sunday before the parliamentary board meeting in the evening where prime minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and other senior leaders were present.

The decision was taken after the senior leaders undertook a detailed feedback from workers, office bearers, and sitting and former MLAs and MPs.

Rajasthan’s legislative assembly election is scheduled to be held on December 7, 2018, and the result will be out on December 11, 2018. Filing of nominations will begin from Monday and continue till November 19.

The BJP under Raje won a whopping 163 of the 200 assembly seats in the state in 2013, giving the Congress its worst ever drubbing at its hands.

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