The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to convene its Central Election Committee on September 29 to finalise the candidate list for Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls.
Not only by then Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in the US attending a slew of international events including the UNGA will be back, but it also marks the beginning of the auspicious phase of Navratra.
The BJP is likely to announce its candidate list during the Navratra to drive home a point. Another reason is that the Election Commission has fixed October 4 as the last date of filing nomination for both the states. It leaves very little time for the candidates of the BJP and its allies to file their nominations.
Sources say, while one list for Haryana has been prepared, the BJP has kept two lists ready for Maharashtra to decide upon. If the Maharashtra deal with the Shiv Sena does not materialise, which seems highly unlikely, the BJP will be ready to go to polls in Maharashtra alone with smaller alliance partners like the Republican Party of India. But a highly placed BJP source says, the deal between the Sena and BJP is likely to be announced by this weekend.
The BJP's district units in both the states have sent their own lists to their respective state presidents, who in their state election committee meetings prepared lists and sent it to the BJP President Amit Shah. He will present the lists in the Central Election Committee, which will determine who will make the final cut.
Apart from the caste equation, popularity and social media influence, the BJP is also looking at the controversial statements made by the aspirants. BJP sources say, few sitting MLAs with keenness to make "undue" statements to the media that has landed the party in soup in the past may be shelved this time.
Polling for 288 seats in Maharashtra and 90 seats in Haryana will take place on October 21. Both the states have BJP governments in place and the party has announced that it wishes to repeat its incumbent chief ministers, should it return the second time.