With its ‘Mission 50 plus’ target for the upcoming polls, the BJP is confident of coming back to power in this hill state.
New Delhi: An enquiry from Prime Minister Narendra Modi about how many women candidates and “new faces” the BJP is fielding for the upcoming Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, was apparently the reason behind the delay in the official rele-ase of candidate names by the party’s Central Election Committee. The party’s election committee had met last Saturday, which was also attended by Mr Modi but the official list of candidates is still awaited. Nominations for the November 9 election for the 68 Assembly constituencies began from Monday.
With its “Mission 50 plus” target for the upcoming elections, the BJP is confident of coming back to power in this hill state, which is currently under Congress rule. The Congress had won 36, while the BJP had managed to win only 26 Assembly seats during last polls.
BJP’s Himachal Pradesh unit is abuzz that the central leadership is in favour of fielding atleast 15 women candidates and giving opportunity to more “new faces” this time. After the PM’s enquiry, the state core group leaders, sources said, were asked to “rework” on the names cleared by them. Some of the core group members are still camping in the national capital and holding consultations with the central leadership after Mr Modi’s enquiry. However, state leaders feel that it is “too late” to include more women candidates at this juncture. Significantly, speculation is rife that the Modi government is making efforts to get the Womens’ Reservation Bill passed in Parliament.
Sources disclosed that the party’s central leadership had indicated to its state leaders months back that it wants more “new faces” from within the organisation to be given chance this time, after surveys and feedback from the ground suggested that many sitting MLAs were facing anti-incumbency.
The central leadership also wants to check factionalism within its state unit by promoting “new faces” rather than promoting those belonging to the camps of senior leaders, including the two former chief ministers. Sources disclosed the state leaders have also been asked to pacify aspirants who were vying for a ticket but could not be selected. The central leadership had also sought feedback from its cadre on party workers, who they think could be the “new faces” who could be fielded.