Wary of a number of party leaders and workers joining the Congress ahead of local body polls, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has adopted a secret strategy of selecting candidates but not announcing them in the public.
The ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on Monday decided tickets for over 20 out of 31 districts, where elections for 129 local bodies are scheduled on August 17, but the party leadership handed over party symbols to the party district presidents who would further hand over the same to selected candidates a day before the filling the nomination papers end.
According to party sources, the information about nominees was only available with the party state president, district president and the selected candidates. The strategy has been adopted keeping in mind rebellion by disgruntled candidates during assembly polls and local body polls held last year.
The party is wary after more than 50 party leaders and workers have joined the Congress in the past one week. The BJP received a major setback when the party’s Jhalawar municipal council chairperson Usha Yadav and another party leader from Kota Shailendra Yadav joined the Congress in the presence of Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot on August 2.
On July 28, about 50 BJP workers including former party functionaries and former civic body members made their way to the Congress. The workers included former chairman of Phulera municipality Manoj Ahuja and other prominent party leaders of the area.
“The party is serious about Usha’s defection as she represented the party from Jhalawar where chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s constituency is located,” said a senior party leader seeking anonymity.
The tickets were decided on Monday in a meeting attended by Raje and party leaders of districts.
Ruling out any resentment, party state president Ashok Parnami said the party is deciding tickets on merit basis and tickets would not be allotted to family members of elected representatives. He said those who joined Congress have done so because of personal reasons.
Parliamentary affairs minister Rajendra Singh Rathore said Congress has no candidates for the local body polls as such they are trying to get people from other parties.
Meanwhile, state Congress chief Sachin Pilot has accused Raje government of “stalling development” in the state and said people would vote in favour of his party in the upcoming civic body polls.
Protest at BJP office
A large number of protestors under the banner of Rajasthan Unemployed United Federation and Rajasthan Prerak Sangh staged a protest outside the BJP head office on Monday demanding jobs for the unemployed. Heavy police force was deployed outside the office to manage the protestors who gheraoed health minister Rajendra Singh Rathore and submitted memorandums.
Rathore assured the protestors to take up their demands at the appropriate level. The protests were on when the party leadership was deciding candidates for the forthcoming local body polls.