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BJP whole-timers may play key role in local body polls

Seventy whole-timers (purna kaliks), engaged by the BJP central leadership to get feedbacks from Uttarakhand, will play a key role in distribution of tickets for local body elections likely to be held early next year, party sources said

dehradun Updated: Oct 27, 2017 20:31 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,local body polls,BJP
There are 92 urban local bodies in Uttarakhand.(HT Photo)

Seventy whole-timers (purna kaliks), engaged by the BJP central leadership to get feedbacks from Uttarakhand, will play a key role in distribution of tickets for local body elections likely to be held early next year, party sources said.

They will not only analyse works done by ticket seekers but also keep a watch over complaints against them.

“Any ticket seeker found guilty of misconduct will have no chance in the elections. The purna kaliks are maintaining a database and communicating it with the BJP national organisational leaders; feedback on every activity and tension is provided,” a whole-timer told Hindustan Times, requesting anonymity.

The race for tickets will be tough after the state government decided, despite resistance from people, to bring 7% additional villages -- an estimated 355 -- under 35 urban local bodies.

There are 92 urban local bodies in Uttarakhand including six municipal corporations - Dehradun, Haldwani, Roorkee, Rudrapur, Kashipur and Haridwar, 43 municipal boards and an equal number of town panchayats.

Besides, the cabinet earlier this week gave nod for two more municipal corporations. The urban bodies cover over 53,000 square metre, which will be increased to at least 98,000 sqmt after delimitation.

In the 2013 local body polls, of the 690 wards across the state, independents won 369, BJP 180 and Congress 135, according to state election website data. Four seats went to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and one each to the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD).

The whole-timers had a meeting with BJP leaders in Delhi on Thursday.

The central organisation is currently concerned about hiccups in the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), rolled out from July 1. The whole-timers are updating the leaders on the ground reality -- the response, issues, and recommendations to improve the one-tax, one-nation regime.

After GST, preparations for local body elections were discussed, party sources said. Senior leaders took reports from the whole-timers and asked them to intensify booth-level activities.

“We shared information regarding the status of the party in each of the constituencies,” another whole-timer said, wishing not to be identified.

State BJP president Ajay Bhatt denies any arrangement with the whole-timers, “The recommendations of purna kaliks may matter while distributing tickets, but a panel will decide it. They are working in the field and will certainly have ground reports which could be considered,” he told HT.

People aren’t happy over expanding the boundaries of local bodies, party insiders said. Reason: Villagers fear more taxes, and intervention of local bodies and development authorities. Land use and construction will also come under the scanner.

The central leadership has been informed about the concerns.

First Published: Oct 27, 2017 20:31 IST