Himansu Shekhar Rout

Even as the Election Commission of India (ECI) is yet to announce dates for the Lok Sabha polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to announce the names of at least 100 candidates on February 29.

If sources are to be believed, the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah among others are likely to be announced in the first phase. A meeting of the Central Election Committee of the BJP is said to be held on February 29 to finalise the names. 

However, it is not clear if some candidates for Odisha will find a place in the list. 

Many believe that early announcements will be handy for candidates who will find enough time to reach out to people earlier than others.

Meanwhile, the BJP held a meeting of the party’s state election in-charges and co-in-charges at its national headquarters in New Delhi on Saturday.

BJP’s Odisha in-charge Vijaypal Singh Tomar and co-in-charge Lata Usendi among others attended the meeting which was inaugurated by the party’s National President, JP Nadda.
Moreover, BJP’s National Vice President and the election in-charge for Uttar Pradesh Baijayant Panda also participated in the meeting. 

Sounding confident about the party's electoral prospects, Vijaypal Singh Tomar said this time the party will cross the target of 370 Lok Sabha seats and the NDA tally will cross 400. 

“Our party and workers are always prepared for the elections. We are all working on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mantra ‘Sab Ka Sath Sab ka Vikash’. In Odisha, our party candidates will come out with flying colours in more than 16 Lok Sabha seats out of 21. Our party will fight alone in the Assembly polls and we will win over 80 Assembly seats in Odisha,” he asserted.

According to national media reports, ECI teams are currently visiting various states to assess election preparedness. The assessment is most likely to end by March 13. Thereafter, the ECI is likely to announce the schedule for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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