Amid confusion in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the chief minister’s face in the upcoming assembly polls, the other factor, which is creating ripples among party workers and ticket aspirants is ticket allotment procedure this time.
Many aspirants for BJP ticket in assembly polls are confused as to whom to contact and lobby for the same, and they are shuttling in vain between the Dhumal and the Nadda camps of BJP with their requests. The strong BJP high command has virtually taken over all the powers earlier exercised by the state leaders in floating the names of candidates for the ticket and is relying more on its feedback straight from the field.
The selection procedure is in departure from the previous trend of allotting tickets as per the decision of state leadership, which ultimately used to get stamped by the high command, barring few changes.
The BJP this time is conducting independent surveys to know the popularity of the candidates. Sources said that the party has conducted three-tier survey in all the 68 Assembly segments of the state to identify the candidates on the lines of similar exercise in recently held Assembly polls in other states.
While a 16-member committee of state leaders, MPs as well as Union minister for selecting candidates has already been constituted to consider the names of candidates based on survey reports, the aspirants have their fingers crossed as they wait anxiously for the outcome of their meetings.
“A committee has been constituted to shortlist the names of candidates, who would be given party tickets for upcoming Assembly polls,” former chief minister and leader of Opposition, Prem Kumar Dhumal told The Statesman.“The winnability would be the main criteria for granting party ticket to a candidate,” he said.
BJP sources said in the midst of confusion of leadership in state and high command reigning supreme, almost all senior leaders are reluctant to comment on the selection procedure and the aspirants are getting same replies (we are not sure).
“I ran from pillar to post to convince different senior leaders about my stake for the ticket. But none of them gave me any assurance. They said they were not even sure about their own chances, so how can they help others,” said one of the aspirants.
The 16-member panel would now discuss the outcome of survey that had selected the probable candidates, three in each assembly segment, who may win if given a chance.
Even after preparing the final list of candidates, the panel would seek the approval of the parliamentary board before making announcement.
BJP sources said BJP chief Amit Shah will take a final call on candidates as to who would be given party ticket. Though the state leadership is confident of winning the assembly polls with a huge margin, the party is adopting a cautious approach in selecting the candidates.