The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) list of 306 candidates announced so far for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections points to a key generational shift in the ruling party, and also underscores worries about the personal anti-incumbency of sitting MPs, particularly in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh.
Nearly 50 sitting Lok Sabha members have been denied tickets so far, and veterans such as LK Advani, Kalraj Mishra, Shanta Kumar, BC Khanduri and Bhagat Singh Koshyari have been kept out of directly contesting elections by the BJP’s central leadership led by Prime Minister Modi and party chief Amit Shah.
Most of the veteran leaders who have been left out were not involved in the BJP’s decision-making process over the last five years, and do not enjoy enough support from followers in the party to challenge the decision. Some of the “retirements” have been smooth, with leaders such as Kalraj Mishra and Karia Munda from Jharkhand making public statements accepting the party’s decision. Advani, 91, whose Gandhinagar seat has gone to Shah, has not spoken about the 75-year rule. “The party will take a call on the future role of these leaders after the elections,” said a BJP leader, who was a part of the internal consultations, on condition of anonymity.
According to Hindustan Times, “A lot of research has gone into the candidate selection exercise,” the BJP general secretary cited above said. “Once the list is out, we may end up denying ticket to up to one-thirds of sitting parliamentarians.”
The party changed its all 10 MPs in Chhattisgarh and dropped five in the list of 15 candidates announced so far for Madhya Pradesh. The BJP lost both these states to the Congress in December assembly elections.
In 17 seats of Bihar, where five parties formed an alliance, the BJP repeated 13 MPs, dropped three, and gave away five seats that it won in the last election to Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United). This, a Bihar minister said, reflects the BJP’s openness in giving away sitting seats to accommodate new partners.
Source – HT