Uttarakhand elections: BJP may not field up to 12 sitting MLAs
According to a senior BJP leader, around 10 to 12 sitting MLAs may not be given tickets as an internal survey and assessment of the polls suggested that they are likely to lose the polls.
The Uttarakhand Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s election committee will meet on Saturday to finalise the list of candidates for the upcoming assembly elections amid indications that it may drop at least 10 to 12 sitting MLAs over their performance, people familiar with the matter said.
The list will subsequently be sent to the party’s central parliamentary board for the final clearance, they added.
According to a senior BJP leader, around 10 to 12 sitting MLAs may not be given tickets as an internal survey and assessment of the polls suggested that they are likely to lose the polls. Almost all the ministers are likely to be repeated in the elections.
“The party will further deliberate on these issues at the state election committee meeting on Saturday. The party does not want to take any chances with such candidates and would like to give other aspirants a chance,” the leader said, seeking anonymity.
State party chief Madan Kaushik said the candidates will be selected through a defined process.
“Reports, feedback and suggestions are sought from the assembly segments following which the senior leaders will discuss the winning prospects of different aspirants. On Saturday, the state election committee will meet and discuss all these issues and come up with a list of probable candidates. The final call on the list will be taken at the party’s central parliamentary board meeting,” he said.
The final list of candidates will be released before January 22, he added.
Currently, the BJP has 53 MLAs in the 70-member Uttarakhand assembly. The tenure of the Uttarakhand legislative assembly is due to expire on March 23.
While voting will be held on February 14, the results will be announced on March 10.
The party’s refusal to give tickets to over a dozen MLAs won’t be surprising as it did not shy away from changing chief ministers whenever they felt the need to do so, political analyst and Prof MM Semwal said.
“But the BJP will have to deal with the rebellion from such MLAs as they can work against the party’s interests after they are denied the tickets. They must have already come up with a strategy to deal with that. Also, as they will be announcing the list close to the date of nominations, the rebel leaders won’t get a chance to do much,” he said.