Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP fields sitting MP Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah from Tehri Garhwal seat
The BJP’s sitting parliamentarian Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah will contest the Lok Sabha election 2019 from the Tehri Garhwal parliamentary constituency in Uttarakhand.
There were reports that Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah could be replaced with former Congress heavyweight Vijay Bahuguna, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the 2017 assembly elections.
Insiders in the BJP said the party was considering replacing her with a new face, preferably Bahuguna, amid reports indicating her falling popularity among her constituents.
If BJP insiders are to be believed the former chief minister, who split the Congress before switching sides along with his supporters, had even started gearing up for the challenge. The reported move didn’t go well with Shah, who while speaking at a party event, alleged that the BJP’s internal surveys purposely projected dim chances of her winning her seat.
Bahuguna was being considered because he had already represented Tehri Garhwal and also because of his stature as a former chief minister. Shah, however, had defeated his son Saket in a by-poll to the Tehri Lok Sabha seat held in 2012 by a huge margin.
Three crucial factors went in the favour of 68-year-old Shah. Originally from the royal family of Nepal, Shah married into the Tehri royal family that wields a lot of influence among the locals. Its scion Manabendra Shah was elected from the Tehri Lok Sabha seat for a record eight times. Besides, she is the first woman to be elected to the Lok Sabha from the state since its formation in 2000.
So, denying her ticket would have sent a wrong message among the people of Tehri Garhwal, who are said to be loyal to the royal family.
But the main factor that is said to have worked in her favour was speculation that if she was not nominated she could have join the Congress, BJP insiders said.