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25 New Faces in BJP's First List for Rajasthan Polls as Party Looks to Counter Anti-Incumbency

Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah and CM Vasundhara Raje had reportedly not arrived at a consensus on the issue of axing a large number of sitting MLAs in Rajasthan as there are fears that a strong anti-incumbency sentiment could hurt the party's fortunes.

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Updated:November 12, 2018, 7:47 AM IST
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25 New Faces in BJP's First List for Rajasthan Polls as Party Looks to Counter Anti-Incumbency
File photo of Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje.
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Jaipur: The Bharatiya Janata Party late on Sunday released its first list of 131 candidates for the assembly elections in Rajasthan with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje being fielded from her traditional seat of Jhalrapatan.

The list, which was delayed reportedly due to differences between party chief Amit Shah and chief minister Vasundhara Raje, has 85 sitting MLAs and 25 new faces.

The names were announced by senior party leader JP Nadda following a meeting of the BJP central election committee which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its president Amir Shah besides other top leaders. Raje also attended the meeting.

The party has also fielded its Lok Sabha MP Sona Ram Choudhary in the assembly poll and given tickets to 12 women. "Party candidates for all the seats we're discussed in the meeting. Names of other nominees will be announced soon," Nadda told reporters.

Shah and Raje had reportedly not arrived at a consensus on the issue of axing a large number of sitting MLAs in the state as there are fears that a strong anti-incumbency sentiment could hurt the party’s fortunes.

Earlier, there were reports that the BJP could drop more than half of its sitting 163 MLAs and some cabinet ministers could also face the axe.

Raje, had, however, pitched for axing not more than 30 MLAs during the state screening meeting held at the residence of the union minister and state election in-charge Prakash Javdekar on Saturday.

She had come up with a new formula, proposing to change the constituencies of about a dozen sitting legislators against whom there were adverse reports.

The BJP had organised a six-day feedback programme last month and consulted party workers before shortlisting names. The state goes to polls on December 7 and the last date of filing nominations is November 19.

The BJP is facing a strong challenge from a resurgent Congress in the state with the opposition party winning a number of by-polls in the last couple of years.

A number of opinion polls has also given an edge to the Congress but the BJP has insisted that it will be able to repulse the opposition's challenge.

The saffron party under Raje had won a whopping 163 of the 200 assembly seats in the state in 2013, giving the Congress its worst ever drubbing at its hands. The state has for the last two decades has seen the incumbent party losing the assembly polls.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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