THE NAMES of almost all existing 83 BJP MLAs figure in the list of 150 party nominees finalised by the party for the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha elections.
Contrary to the belief that the BJP was in a state of slumber in the election year, the party discreetly finalised a list of 150 party candidates. It was for the first time that the contestants were selected on the whims of senior party leaders but due importance was also given to views and recommendations of the workers at the grass root level in every constituency.
The party decided to give ticket to almost all the 83 existing sitting MLAs. Many of the candidates selected for the party ticket included those also who were sitting members in the previous House but had lost in the last Assembly election.
Meanwhile, there was no move for change in the party leadership in Uttar Pradesh and such rumours were being floated by certain vested interests to create differences among the party leaders and confusion among the workers.
Giving this information to Hindustan Times here on Wednesday, senior BJP leader and leader of the opposition in the Vidhan Sabha, Lalji Tandon, said it was for the first time that the process of selection of party candidates was made completely transparent and even workers were consulted before finalising the names of the probable candidates. He said a three-member committee set up at the divisional headquarters visited each and every Vidhan Sabha constituency, met party workers, discussed names of probable candidates and then recommended the names of the ‘most acceptable and winnable’ candidates.
Tandon denied that the party was in the sleep mode and was unable to take on the Mulayam government in an effective manner. He also denied differences or bickering within the party and claimed that the BJP would become the main rival party by the time of the election as the party had decided to work discreetly.
Tandon said the RSS and almost all its frontal organisations had already been activated and campaigning had begun in every constituency. An awareness campaign was going on to educate people about the misdeeds of the Central and Mulayam governments and also their various decisions aimed it appeasing Muslims at the cost of Hindu interests. Terrorism, price-rise, failures of the Manmohan Singh government, riots, gunda raj and humiliation and harassment of Hindus to please Muslims were other major issues being raised by the saffron brigade.
Ruling out possibility of any change in leadership in the State, Tandon clarified that he had discussions at the top level of the organisation and even the party high command had assured him that the BJP would go to the hustings with the existing team of office-bearers with State chief Keshari Nath Tripathi and Kalyan Singh at the helm of affairs.
He claimed that the BSP’s ongoing effort to woo upper caste voters, particularly Brahmins, was bound to boomerang as majority of traditional SC/ST voters of the BSP would go away from the party.