The BJP’s list of candidates for Assembly elections in the state may see upto 30 per cent new faces.
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party could field several “new faces” in Himachal Pradesh’s Assembly elections scheduled to be held later this year. Feedback from the ground suggests that while there is a “huge anti-incumbency” sentiment against the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government, there is also strong resentment against some of its own sitting MLAs.
Thus the BJP’s list of candidates, sources said, could see nearly 30 per cent “new faces”.
The party, it is learnt, may not just field “new faces” in constituencies currently held by some senior leaders, including former Cabinet ministers, who have crossed the 75-year age bar set by the central leadership, but may also axe MLAs who have either not performed or are not popular.
State BJP is abuzz with the results of the “surveys” carried out by a Gujarat-based foundation for the party high command to gauge people’s mood, as well as the issues the party needs to address before the elections.
These surveys have suggested fielding new faces, including in Assembly seats where the party’s candidate had lost by more than 5,000 votes last time. Saffron poll managers, sources disclosed, are seeking feedback on the performance, popularity and work done by sitting MLAs.
Feedback is also being sought about ticket aspirants. In the last Assembly election in 2012, the BJP had managed to win only 26 of the total 68 Assembly berths, with the ruling Congress bagging 36 seats.
The Congress has already announced “Mission Repeat” under the chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s leadership, but the BJP, sources said, is unlikely to project a candidate for the top post.
Earlier this week Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the party’s Parivartan Rally in the state where he asked people to vote for change and took a dig at Mr Virbhadra Singh who is facing corruption charges.