Nepotism and the hiring of turncoats appear to be hampering BJP's chances of winning the Assembly Elections in 2017.
Nepotism and the hiring of turncoats appear to be hampering BJP’s chances of winning the Assembly Elections in 2017. Today, former CM of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh ND Tiwari decided to quit Congress to join BJP a with an aim to ask a ticket for his son Rohit Shekhar to contest. Meanwhile, Navjot Singh Sidhu, a former BJP leader joined the Congress and claimed to be his ‘gear-was’. In the first list of candidates, that BJP had announced, it was evident that the party in order to bring in people from the ‘outside’ neglected many leaders within the party, which gave rise to protests. When the second list was brought forward, there were more new faces who interestingly belonged to other parties and also included in the lot were relatives of those leaders. After it was found that so many leaders came from outside the party, the protests rose and a party meeting had to be cancelled. Meanwhile, following a CEC meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah, BJP announced the names of 149 candidates for UP, the completed lot for Punjab, Uttarakhand’s 64 and remaining 7 for Goa.
3 years back, BJP had won the Lok Sabha elections, where it secured 71 of the 80 available seats in UP, and now it is trying to make inroads into the Assembly too. Even in Uttarakhand a quarter of the number of candidates are people from outside the party. Protests regarding tickets given to BJP veteran leaders’ relatives have also surfaced. In Punjab, there were reported resentment among the party leaders. Many party members also threatened to contest the elections as independent candidates.
However, BJP has denied such resentments and taken the position that it is only because of the high demand for party tickets. But at the same tie, there have been protests in from of BJP supremo Amit Shah’s house. There were protests against MP Rajbir Singh, son of former UP CM Kalyan Singh when his son was given a ticket. Additionally, there were demonstrations against minister Santosh Gangwar, while many members resigned when Kesar Singh a leader from BSP was given ticket from the party.
In Uttarakhand candidates that BJP has decided to field include 10 from Congress, all of who had joined the party in recent times. They were either given a ticket or their relatives were. Meanwhile, three-time MLA Vijaya Barthwal and former state president TS Rawat were ignored. Barthwal was replaced only to put on the list, Ritu Khanduri Bhushan, daughter of former CM BC Khanduri. Meanwhile, Rawat was replaced by Satpal Maharaj, who interestingly is known for protesting against CM Harish Rawat.
Former CM Vijay Bahunguna’s son was also awarded a ticket. Bahuguna was the leader of the Congress rebellion. The party also rewards leaders who had just come to the party which had the surprise inclusion of Yashpal Arya who was earlier Congress’ Dalit face in Uttarakhand. Even his son, Sanjeev was awarded a ticket. The list of new inductees also included names like Satpal Maharaj and Harak Singh Rawat.
In Uttar Pradesh, the party has included in the lot, Sandeep Singh, the grandson of former CM and governor Kalyan Singh, from Atrauli. In UP the list had the names of Ramesh Tomar, a Congress leader who was fielded by Congress in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but had moved to BJP just now, and also Dhirender Singh, another Congress leader to join BJP recently.
While party swapping is the trend of every election season, it is even more special because this time it includes the biggest state in India. While the Samajwadi Party is mired in familial feuds, most parties are trying not to leave out a single vote. At this moment of time, if BJP finds itself amidst its own issues and resentments, it is highly unlikely its leaders will make a mark in the 2017 assembly elections.