All sitting BJP MPs in Uttarakhand may not get LS ticket: Thawar Chand Gehlot

Contrary to the Uttarakhand BJP’s stand, its central leadership on Thursday stated that not all sitting parliamentarians will be renominated by the ruling party to contest this year’s Lok Sabha elections.

“The party may not give tickets to all our sitting parliamentarians for the upcoming general election,” BJP’s Uttarakhand in-charge for the Lok Sabha elections and union minister Thawar Chand Gehlot told a news conference. He said the party had begun the process of candidates’ selection for the Lok Sabha polls.

“Feedback is being gathered about all our sitting parliamentarians and other ticket aspirants; the party is also conducting internal surveys to check their winnability, which would be the main criterion for candidates’ selection,” Gehlot said.

Incidentally, his statement is in contrast to the stand of the BJP’s state unit that it’s sitting parliamentarians would be repeated from all the five Lok Sabha seats in the state.

Gehlot’s statement may also lead to rebellion in the party in view of some of its five sitting parliamentarians aspiring for tickets yet again.

In fact, the BJP’s state unit president, Ajay Bhatt had been repeatedly maintaining at party functions or in press conferences that all its five sitting parliamentarians could again be given ticket for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The statement could ruffle quite a few feathers in view of some of the sitting parliamentarians raising objections to the reports that they might not be given tickets for the coming general election. BJP parliamentarian from Tehri Mala Rajlaxmi Shah recently alleged that her rivals were conspiring to deny her a ticket.

Speaking at a closed-door meeting of BJP workers in Dehradun recently, she alleged that her parliamentary constituency had been categorised as B-grade in an internal survey conducted by the party.

“We have reports that my constituency is being branded as B-grade, which is an attempt to deny me a party ticket”, she is reported to have commented at the party meeting. Days later Shah said she had been constantly interacting with her constituents indicating that she was an aspirant for a ticket from Tehri in the Lok Sabha elections.

Shah was reacting to reports that the BJP had decided to field former Congress heavyweight Vijay Bahuguna from Tehri. The reports gained credence after the former chief minister recently hosted a dinner party for the recently elected BJP corporators of the Dehradun Municipal Corporations. He chose to host the party in Dehradun because the district has six of the seven assembly segments of Tehri parliamentary constituencies, which are represented by BJP legislators. Besides, several bigwigs of the ruling party’s state unit including chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat attended the meeting.

Gehlot, however, claimed that the BJP would return to power in the coming Lok Sabha elections with a greater majority and would form the next government at the Centre with its alliance partners.

“Our party won 282 seats in the last (2014) general election; this time we will return to power with a greater majority and shall form the government”, he claimed. Gehlot was replying to a query about the BJP’s electoral prospects in view of no wave being perceptible in its favour ahead of this year’s Lok Sabha polls unlike the 2014 parliamentary elections.

Gehlot said the ruling party would sweep the upcoming Lok Sabha polls on the basis of the party’s election strategy and a number of pro-poor schemes implemented by the Modi government.

He also suggested that its decision to grant the economically backward 10% quota in government jobs besides a healthcare scheme like the Atal Ayushman Yojna would prove to be a game changer for the ruling party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls

To another query, Gehlot rubbished the reports that Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into politics would end up marring the ruling BJP’s electoral prospects in the upcoming poll battle.

First Published: Jan 25, 2019 15:53 IST

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