Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP fields Ajay Tamta again for Uttarakhand’s Almora seat
Contrary to rumours, the BJP chose its sitting parliamentarian Ajay Tamta from Almora seat in the hill state of Uttarakhand to fight the Lok Sabha election this year once again.
The announcement came amid reports that Ajay Tamta could be replaced with BJP legislator and state cabinet minister Rekha Arya, who had been lobbying hard for the parliamentary constituency reserved for members of the Scheduled Castes. Incidentally, both Tamta and Arya are SCs.
There were reports that Ajay Tamta might not be given a chance again from Almora owing to two factors: His declining popularity and low profile.
But the party brass seems to have given him preference because of his administrative experience. For unlike Arya, he is a minister of the state in the Union cabinet and has also served at the state cabinet. The two-term legislator Tamta, 46, was also a member of the consultative committee of the ministry of water resources and river development and Ganga rejuvenation.
Similarly, like Arya he hails from Almora and is also a relatively young politician. It may have been difficult for the BJP to drop him from the list of candidates vying for the Almora seat because he was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s choice for the Union cabinet.
Besides, his clean image is said to be his plus point, which the BJP leadership may have thought would help him sail through. Arya seems to be on a weak wicket in that department over a controversy surrounding her husband Girdhari Lal Sahu after his alleged involvement in a kidney racket. The Congress raised the issue in the assembly two years ago and may rake it up again against her in the Lok Sabha election 2019.
There is, however, a strong anti-incumbency factor against Tamta. The BJP leadership seems not to have taken it in consideration keeping the countrywide wave in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he permitted the airstrikes on a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, party insiders said.