The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday announced its first list of 78 candidates for Haryana Assembly polls, which included sportspersons Yogeshwar Dutt, Babita Phogat and Sandeep Singh.
In Maharashtra the BJP and Shiv Sena said that they have finalised their seat sharing formula for the Assembly polls , the details of which state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Sena president Uddhav Thackeray will announce through a joint statement. The two parties had fought the 2014 Assembly polls separately, so did the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Earlier in the day, Aaditya Thackeray, the elder son of party chief Uddhav, announced at a party rally in Mumbai that he will contest the Assembly elections. If things go well for him, he will become the first member of the Thackeray clan ever to contest an election. Aaditya said he will contest from the Worli assembly segment in Mumbai. Shiv Sena's sitting MLA Sunil Shinde make space for him. "I am sure of victory as I have the blessings of you all," Aaditya Thackeray said.
Sources said the Shiv Sena considers Worli a safe seat, moreover former NCP leader Sachin Ahir had recently joined the Sena, which should ease Aaditya's path to victory. Ahir had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 assembly election against Shinde.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Sunday released its first list of 51 candidates for the Maharashtra polls. The Congress and NCP will contest in an alliance. According to sources, the Congress will contest 135 to138 seats and NCP may be happy with 122-125 seats, leaving the rest to their smaller allies. The final announcement on seat sharing is likely on Tuesday.
The last date for filing of nominations is October 4. The Maharashtra Assembly has 288-seats and Haryana has 90-seats with both states going to polls on October 21, the results will be out on October 24.
The BJP’s list for Haryana had sitting chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar contest from Karnal again. The BJP dropped seven sitting legislators, including ministers, Vipul Goel and Rao Narbir Singh, and gave tickets to Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) turncoats. It has repeated 38 legislators. Deputy Speaker Santosh Yadav has also been denied a ticket.
Wrestler Babita Phogat will contest from Dadri, former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh from Pehowa and Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt from Baroda. The three joined the BJP in recent weeks. The BJP list includes nine women and two Muslims, the latter representing the party in the Mewat region.
Aditya Devilal, a grandson of Jat stalwart Devi Lal, has been fielded from Dabwali, the Chautala clan's bastion represented by Naina Chautala who is the wife of former MP Ajay Singh Chautala.
Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala will contest from Tohana, Captain Abhimanyu in Narnod and Om Prakash Dhankar in Badli. Former Union minister and Jat leader Birender Singh's MLA wife Prem Lata Singh will contest from Uchana Kalan, a seat she had won in 2014.
INLD leaders given BJP tickets are Satish Nandal from Garhi Sampla Kiloi against former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Ranbir Gangwa who will fight from Nalwa, Zakir Hussain from Nuh, Naseem Ahmed from Ferozepur Jhirkha, Nagender Bhadana from Faridabad NIT and Ram Chand Kamboj from Rania. Lone Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Balkaur Singh, whose entry into BJP fold recently had angered SAD, has also been rewarded with ticket from his Kalanwali reserved seat in Sirsa.
Ram Kumar Kashyap, former INLD leader who switched over to BJP, will fight from Indri. Parminder Dhull, an MLA who too crossed over to saffron outfit,will fight from his seat Julana.
The Public Policy Research Centre, a BJP-affiliated think tank, on Monday claimed the BJP government in Haryana had successfully delivered on 96 per cent of the promises made in the party's manifesto during the 2014 assembly polls. Its director Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, a Rajya Sabha member, pointed to improvement of female child sex ratio from 833 to 914 as one of its key successes.