No BJP list even after party’s poll body meet

New Delhi: The BJP Central Election Committee meeting held late on Thursday and attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah has not thrown up any candidate names for the upcoming Delhi Assembly polls.

It is believed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will either release a first list comprising more than 40 names or in its entirety on Friday.

The Thursday meeting attended by Modi and Shah, besides working President J.P. Nadda, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Thawarchand Gehlot and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was expected to come out with the list with barely three weeks remaining for the crucial polls.

PM Modi left the BJP headquarters, where the meeting was taking place, around 11.40 p.m.

The Delhi unit sent two names for each constituency after filtering and the CEC was mandated to make the final pick for candidates for the 70-seat Assembly.

Earlier this week, Amit Shah held a series of BJP core group meetings at his residence, some of which ran till 3 a.m. in the morning, to shortlist names.

Nadda, General Secretary (organisation) B.L. Santosh, party’s Delhi in-charge Prakash Javadekar, state President Manoj Tiwari among others were present in that meeting on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.

A section of the central BJP leadership wanted fresh faces to be given a chance as such candidates don’t carry any “baggage”. The move could also send a positive message among the party cadres.

In the 2017 MCD elections, the party had not given ticket to a single sitting councilor. Sources said the party may not go that far in the Assembly polls, given factionalism in the party. But a strong pitch is being made from within the central unit to give a sizeable share of tickets to young candidates.

Delhi will go to poll on February 8 and the results will be out on February 11.

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