BJP, seeking to retain power in Gujarat by overcoming anti-incumbency, on Sunday dropped 13 sitting MLAs as it announced the first list of 75 candidates for the two-phased assembly polls in Gujarat next month.
The list, declared by the party after a meeting of the Central Election Committee, included Chief Minister Narendra Modi from Maninagar constituency (which goes to poll in second phase of pollin on December 16) and 74 other candidates for the first phase of Assembly elections on December 11.
BJP spokesman Ananth Kumar said the party decided to field 20 new faces in the coming polls. Out of this, two had voluntarily opted out while five had left the party. The remaining 13 were not given renomination due to anti-incumbency factor working against them, he added.
"This (nomination to 20 new faces) will infuse fresh blood and augurs well for the party. We have considered winnability and their acceptablity among our cadre and people," he added.
"Last time, we had fielded 12 candidates out of the 182 seats but this time we have already announced 13 out of the 74 seats," Kumar said.
The list also includes 13 women, six Scheduled Caste and 17 Scheduled Tribe candidates. The 14 districts in South Gujarat (29), Saurashtra (52) and Kutch (6) are going for the polls during the first phase of polls and the saffron party has given tickets to all the ten ministers from the region.
The central election committee meeting was chaired by BJP President Rajnath Singh and attended by senior party leaders LK Advani, Jaswant Singh, Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu and Modi besides others.