Gujarat BJP is facing a problem of plenty as the party has received almost 4000 applications from the ticket aspirants for 182 assembly constituencies for which the polls are due in December.
The party had sent around 100 observers in 33 district and city units to meet local leaders and party workers, who staked their claims for the tickets in their respective areas. For each seat, there are over a dozen claimants for the party ticket, making it difficult for the leadership to pick up a right candidate and at the same time ensure that infighting does not breakout once the candidate is elected.
Secondly, redrawing the assembly seats in delimitation exercise has changed the demographic and geographic equations in over 60 assembly segments, where selection of a right candidate will be a highly tricky affair. "As many as two dozen MLAs and six ministers in the government have directly been affected in the delimitation so they have staked their claims from safe seats where locals are resenting them," a party leader said.
Now, the state BJP's 13 member parliamentary board will hold meeting from October 30 to November 5 to prepare a panel of three names for each constituency and subsequently, final selection will be made by the national parliamentary board after Diwali.
In at least 50 assembly seats, local leaders have opposed candidature of sitting MLAs, which also exacerbates selection process. "There is huge competition to grab the ticket," a party leader, who had gone as observer in a district said.
In Vadhwan seat in Saurashtra, 45 persons have staked their claims while for 21 seats in Ahmedabad city and district, there are more than 250 contenders in the fray.
However, the state BJP leadership does not believe the increased competition among party workers would create any trouble during the polls.
"This time, we have seen increased number of party workers seeking to fight assembly polls, which is a sign that the party is coming back to power after winning the polls," said Gujarat BJP general secretary Vijay Rupani, whose supporters have sought a ticket for Rupani from Rajkot as well as Wadhvan assembly segments.
A BJP MP from the state observed that some sitting members and other may switch over to Keshubhai Patel's Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) if denied party ticket.
"Obviously, GPP will be the destination of those who don't find support in the party," he said.
Prominent leaders and ministers who have been affected in delimitation
Nitin Patel (urban development and irrigation): whose present seat Kadi has been reserved for SC.
Pradipsinh Jadeja (junior law and parliamentary affairs) whose seat Asarwa has been converted into SC reserved.
RC Faldu (Gujarat BJP president) his existing seat Kalavad has been reserved for SC, forcing him to shift his base.
Mulubhai Bera (former minister), whose existing seat Bhanvad has been merged with neighbouring Khambhalia where sitting MLA is resisting Bera's claim.
Purushottam Solanki (junior fisheries minister) whose seat ghogha has been dissolved in three seats to create a new seat Bhavnagar (rural) where Congress is fielding leader of the opposition Shaktisinh Gohil, a powerful leader.
Jaswantsinh Bhabhor, junior tribal development minister, whose seat has been merged with two neighbouring seats, rendering him without any turf.