New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to release its first list of candidates for the Gujarat Assembly polls on Thursday with the formal announcement likely to be made by Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav and party state president CR Patil in the national capital.
This comes after the Central Election Committee meeting which went on for more than a couple of hours headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The sources said that the top decision body of the saffron party has finalised most of the tickets out of the 182 assembly seats and the remaining powers have been vested with the party president JP Nadda to take a call on the remaining seats.
This comes at a time when former Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and senior party leader Bhupendrasinh Chudasama have said they will not contest the elections.
Former state Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel will also not contest the polls.
Rupani, who was Gujarat’s Chief Minister from 2016 to 2021, said he had conveyed to the party leadership that he will not contest the polls.
“I worked as Chief Minister for five years with everyone’s cooperation. In these polls, responsibility should be given to new workers. I won’t contest the poll, I sent a letter to seniors & conveyed it to Delhi. We’ll work to make the chosen candidate win,” he said.
Chudasama said he had fought elections nine times in a row and others should get an opportunity.
“I will not fight Assembly elections have expressed it to the senior leader of the party. I’ve decided other workers should get the opportunity. I’ve fought the elections 9 times till now. I express my gratitude to the party,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, party chief JP Nadda, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, state BJP chief CR Patil and members of the Central election committee including BS Yeddyurappa, Devendra Fadnavis and Lal Singh Rajpura attended the meeting.
Bhupendra Patel had succeeded Rupani as Gujarat Chief Minister in September last year.
Sources said the BJP could drop at least 20 per cent of the 99 MLAs who won in 2017 elections.
The BJP core group meeting for Gujarat polls took place at Nadda’s residence on Tuesday evening.
The wife of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, Rivaba Jadeja is also likely to get a ticket from Jamnagar. Also, Turncoat Hardik Patel Alpesh Thakor and who joined the BJP had won in the recent are also likely to be fielded.
Gujarat has been the BJP bastion for decades and the party is seeking its seventh term in office.
Polling will take place in Gujarat on December 1 and December 5.
While Congress is seeking to oust the BJP, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also making efforts to put up a strong performance in the polls.