With a government yet to be formed in Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to have shifted its focus to Jharkhand as party president Amit Shah on Thursday met senior leaders from the state to finalise the list of candidates for the upcoming assembly elections, as per sources. According to a senior party leader, the Central Election Committee (CEC) will also meet on Friday to finalise the names for the upcoming polls.
The meeting at the residence of party chief was attended by Jharkhand state president Laxman Gilua, chief minister Raghubar Das, election in-charge OP Mathur and election co-in-charge Ram Vichar Netam along with the Union Minister from the state Arjun Munda. The meeting at Shah's residence, which started around 6 pm, went on till late, a source informed.
Ahead of the scheduled meeting with Shah, senior party leaders had managed to bring down the number of prospective candidates on each seat from 15 to five. "We can't go unprepared. Even if we have brought down the candidates to 15 to 5 or 10 to 4, Adhyaksh Ji would be sitting there with his data on every seat. There is no scope of pushing one's candidacy without merit," a senior BJP leader said.
Earlier, in the day, a core group had met for deliberations on the candidates. Several MPs were also invited for the same. Sources in the party said Bidyut Baran Mahto, Nishikant Dubey and P N Singh attended the core group meeting scheduled at the residence of Jharkhand election in-charge OP Mathur.
According to a senior leader, the entire day was spent ruling out prospective candidates from a cumbersome list and by the meeting ended it was respectably trimmed. "There were 10 to 15 names on each assembly. We have managed to bring it down to 4-5 candidates. We still have 300-350 names that are going to be discussed with the president," informed sources. A senior party leader said that names from workers from each Mandal and district and Members of Parliament were considered while shortlisting the names.
The 81-member Jharkhand assembly is set to go for a five-phased election from November 30 to December 20. The counting of votes will take place on December 23.
(with ANI inputs)