New Delhi: Former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda and former deputy chief minister Raghuvar Das were named in the first list of candidates announced by BJP on Sunday for the upcoming Assembly polls in the state along with 45 nominees for the elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
Former Congress MP from J-K, Lal Singh, who had switched over to BJP some time back, has been fielded from Basohli Assembly seat in the state as the party also announced the names of 11 candidates in Kashmir Valley.
The candidates were finalised after an almost three-hour meeting of the BJP's Central Election Committee chaired by party chief Amit Shah and attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to the first list of candidates for Jharkhand, which has 63 names, Munda will stand from the Kharsawan (ST) seat while Das will contest from his sitting Jamshedpur East Assembly seat.
The party has also fielded its sitting Potka (ST) MLA Maneka Sardar from the same seat while sitting MLA from Simdega, Vimla Pradhan, who has been a former minister, has also been renominated.
Also, BJP state vice president Seema Sharma has been given the ticket for the Hatia seat with former Information Commissioner Gangotri Kujur being nominated from Mandar.
In J-K, the party has declared 11 candidates from the Valley, along with two from the Ladakh region and 32 in the Jammu region.
"All sections of society have been taken into consideration and we have tried to give representation to all," BJP General Secretary JP Nadda said while announcing the names of the candidates after the meeting.
He said the party has considered "winnability" as an important factor while deciding the names. He, however, did not clarify as to how many sitting legislators in Jharkhand were overlooked for a party ticket this time.
The CEC meeting was also attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other Union ministers like Thaawar Chand Gehlot and Ananth Kumar while senior ministers Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Venkaiah Naidu were not present for it.
Asked about any alliances in Jharkhand, including Sudesh Mahto's AJSU party, who was part of Arjun Munda's ministry, Nadda did not disclose anything. Sources, however, said, the party is in touch with him and talks are on for a possible alliance with his party.
Assembly polls in J-K and Jharkhand will be held in five phases between Nov. 25 and Dec. 20 and counting of votes will take place on December 23.