BJP’s Second List: Ex CMs & MLAs To Lok Sabha

The Modi 3.0 cabinet will be full of Ex-Chief Ministers and State Ministers who will fulfill the dream of Viksit Bharat. All eyes are on BJP’s 2nd list which saw a similar trend of keeping the old guard along again while bringing back Ex-CMs to the central team of Modi. The team of Ex-CMs includes Manohar Lal Khattar from Karnal, Shivraj from Vidisha, and Bommai from Haveri, who might get key Union Ministry births in the next cabinet. If Modi’s next cabinet needs fresh and more experienced MPs, the party also needs the support of its alliance partners to reach the “400” target. “Ab Ki Baar, 400 Paar” comes at the cost of seat sharing with alliance partners while keeping the lion’s share with the party itself. It seems like when the BJP adds an alliance partner to its kitty, Congress loses one. In the past week, the BJP shook hands with Chandrababu Naidu and Pawan Kalyan in Andhra Pradesh while the BJP-BJD alliance is said to be almost final. While the seat-sharing numbers were crystal clear in Andhra Pradesh, there is still animosity over the seat-sharing in Bihar and Maharashtra. 

The tally of changing the sitting MPs is the highest from Delhi where 6 sitting MPs have been changed. In BJP’s 2nd list, Harsh Malhotra replaced Gautam Gambhir from East Delhi while Yogendra Chandoliya replaced Hans Raj Hans from North West Delhi Lok Sabha. East Delhi Lok Sabha, seat with a good population of Brahmins, Gurjars, Punjabis, Muslims, Dalits, and voters from Uttarakhand. Unauthorized colonies and traffic are the two biggest issues in this Lok Sabha. The constituency has more than 4 Lakh Valmiki and Dalit Votes. Last year AAP’s leader Atishi Marlena and INC’s Arvinder Singh Lovely contested this seat. In the absence of an alliance, the Muslim votes were divided between the INC and the AAP. The Dalit votes were divided between the INC, AAP, and BSP. BSP’s candidate got 19090 votes (1.52% Vote share) while the BJP candidate consolidated the Brahmin, Baniya, and Punjabi votes. This year, AAP has fielded Kondli MLA Kuldeep Kumar who is also a Dalit. BJP’s candidate was the Mayor of East Delhi Municipal Corporation. In the North-West Delhi Lok Sabha, there are 21% Dalits, 16% Jaat, 12% Brahmin, 10% Baniya, 20% OBC, and 10% Muslim voters. This seat will be contested by the Congress as per the alliance. 

In Maharashtra where the seat-sharing talks are still not over, the party declared candidates over the seats which it has always contested in the past elections. Surprising names include Piyush Goyal replacing Gopal Shetty and Mihir Kotecha replacing Manoj Kotak. The party has finally given the candidature to Smt Pankaja Munde, a heavyweight Vanjari leader, who was said to be unhappy with the BJP leadership. She has replaced her sister and sitting MP Smt Pritam Munde. Eknath Khadse (he left the BJP and joined the NCP) not contesting elections has made it an easy task for Smt Bharati Pawar from Dindori and hence the party believed in repeating her. Smt Smita Wagh’s name is the biggest surprise because her name was present in 2019’s list as well but later her name was dropped and the ticket was given to Unmesh Patil. Out of 72 names announced, there are 15 names of women which make up about 20.83% of the total, with a maximum from Maharashtra only. 

Talking about Karnataka, the state which the BJP lost in recently held assembly elections, the party has nominated Ex-CM Shri Basavraj Bommai from Haveri Lok Sabha. This seat is dominated by people belonging to the Lingayat community. Around 6,80,000 voters are from the Lingayat community, 2,70,000 from the Gadariya community, 3,06,000 from the SC-ST community, 50,000 from the Ganga community, and 1,50,000 others. This seat is a BJP stronghold as the party has been winning this seat since 2004. From Devangere, sitting MP G.M Siddeshwara’s wife Smt Gayatri Siddeshwara has been given a nomination. Shobha Karandlaje has been shifted from Udupi Chikmagalur Lok Sabha to Bengaluru North which has been the bastion of the BJP. The seat witnesses the Vokaliga Vs Vokaliga fight. This time also the BJP has fielded SuShri Shobha Karandlaje, a Vokaliga, as their candidate. She will also be able to consolidate the women voters who are high in numbers in the constituency. In the Mysuru constituency, the BJP nominates Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, a scion of the erstwhile royal family of Mysuru.

There is more excitement about the 3rd list of candidates, including the announcement of seats from Bihar, Maharashtra, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha, where seat-sharing between the alliance partners is still pending.

Author: Ritwik Mehta is the founder of Niti Tantra