In a bid to beat the anti-incumbency staring at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi in the upcoming municipal elections, the party on Tuesday said that it will not give tickets to any sitting councillor. The party is at the helm for 10 years and often criticised for alleged corruption and mismanagement in the three corporations.
Announcing the decision on Tuesday afternoon, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the party will field all new faces in the elections on April 22.
“Following a meeting with senior party leadership, it has been decided that no incumbent councillor will be given party ticket irrespective of their track record. The purpose behind the decision is to develop a new leadership. New faces and young leaders will be given an opportunity to serve the city,” said Tiwari.
The BJP leader said the party will also not field any family member of the sitting councillor. “One, who has no contribution in strengthening the party or background and experience, will not be made BJP nominee for the municipal election. It means one cannot claim ticket only because his or her family members is party leader or councillor. The BJP is against nepotism. This is also to bring transparency in the selection process and young contestants in consonance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new India campaign,” said Tiwari.
The party has 153 councillors in three MCDs with a ward strength of 272.
Several sitting councillors criticised the decision but chose to remain anonymous. They said instead of this criteria, the party should have chosen candidates with a good track record. They said the decision will discourage those who have been working for the past 10 years for the development of their wards and are popular among voters.
“Whether this is a political masterstroke or not, will be clear only when the poll results would be announced,” said a Delhi MP.
Tiwari said after initial disagreement, all councillors and party leaders are supporting the idea and the decision will pave the way for their promotion.
“We have not blocked their growth. In assembly elections, we had given tickets to 10 councillors. Three corporators have been nominated as office-bearers in the present team — two of them — Ravinder Gupta and Rajesh Bhatia — are general secretaries and one — Meenakshi — is secretary. The decision is good for them. In the last municipal elections in Surat, similar formula was applied. One of the councilors, Darshana Jardosh, who was denied ticket was later nominated for Lok Sabha election. She is now MP from Surat,” he said.