Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP says winnability only criterion for LS poll nominations
Winnability is the only criterion for selecting candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, Union minister and BJP Uttarakhand in-charge Thawar Chand Gehlot said here on Wednesday. He also said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s scheduled visit to the state on March 16 will not resonate with voters.
The social justice and empowerment minister said the central election committee of the BJP would hold its first meet on March 16 followed by another on March 18.
Candidates of all five Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttarakhand are likely to be finalised in one of the meetings, he said.
On Gandhi’s planned visit to the state, he said, “Rahul Gandhi’s visit will not make any difference.” He said the top Congress leaders were under pressure to save their seats and are unlikely to make any difference in other constituencies.
Suryakant Dhasmana, Congress vice president sharply reacted to the comment, saying: “These people claimed earlier that Rahul Gandhi ji will not make any difference in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Everyone knows what impact he had on the people there because of which the party won assembly elections.”
Speaking about his own party, Gehlot said that winnability is the key criteria for selecting candidates for the Lok Sabha Elections.
“Certainly, winnability is one of the key factors based on which the party will finalise candidates. We will also consider the background, influence in the respective areas and leaders who have worked in their respective constituencies in the past and present,” he said.
While state unit president Ajay Bhatt had maintained that the BJP is keen on repeating all its sitting MPs -- Maj Gen BC Khanduri (retd) from Pauri, Bhagat Singh Koshyari from Nainital-US Nagar, Ajay Tamta from Almora, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ from Haridwar and Mala Rajyalaxmi Shah from Tehri constituency, there’s a long list of leaders who are eager to grab party ticket for the 2019 general election.
In the past, Khanduri had hinted that he won’t contest elections but recently he made another statement, claiming he was fit and will take up the responsibilities given by the party central leadership.
Reacting to Khanduri’s changed game plan, Gehlot said, “He is healthy now. The party respects him and will take decision accordingly.”
On rumours that a BJP leader will join the Congress during Rahul Gandhi’s visit, BJP state chief Bhatt said: “None of our leaders are joining the Congress. Such claims are misleading.”
Bhatt said, “There are several Congress leaders who are planning to join the BJP. But, we do not have any vacancy in the party. However, we will still think about them based on their performance during past elections.”
The party will also seek suggestions from people on their manifesto, he said, adding that this would be done through the suggestion boxes kept across all assembly constituencies. The party will also ply vehicles for the purpose so that people could recommend issues that could be included in the manifesto.