After changing chief ministers in Gujarat and Uttarakhand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now planning to cut the tickets of half of its sitting MLAs in the states where assembly elections are due in 2022. Actually, by doing this the party wants to reduce the anti-incumbency wave.
In the last assembly elections also, the party had cut the tickets of 15 to 20 percent of its MLAs. Sources told our colleague Hindustan Times that this time this figure could be much higher as there has been increased anger in the minds of the people against the government. In the year 2022, assembly elections are to be held in Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
A party source said, “The BJP has conducted surveys at the ground level in the states so that the mood of the people can be gauged. The MLAs have also been asked to submit a report card of their work done in the last five years, which will also be seen by matching the report prepared by the party. Those MLAs whose performance will not be good, they will not be given tickets this time.
The MLAs will be assessed on certain parameters, such as how much they have used local development funds, how many projects they have run for the upliftment of the poor and how much they have contributed to the ‘Seva Hi Sangathan’ scheme launched by the party during the pandemic. The party has conducted surveys in all the constituencies where feedback has been taken from the people about the performance of the government.
The party source said, ‘Corona epidemic brought a big challenge. The government tried to improve health services, increase the supply of immunizations and medicines, but the party also did some relief and rescue work. Party president JP Nadda had asked all state units to launch campaigns to feed the needy, help those who lost their jobs and ensure 100% vaccination in their booths. The work done by the MLAs under the Seva Hi Sangathan campaign will also be counted.
At present, cutting the anti-incumbency wave remains the biggest challenge for the BJP. For this reason, the party replaced Vijay Rupani and made Bhupendra Patel the new Chief Minister of Gujarat. Apart from this, the entire new cabinet was also sworn in so that the party cadre could be revived before the elections due in late 2022.
“Cutting the tickets of sitting MLAs for various reasons is not new to the party. For example, in Rajasthan, BJP had cut tickets of 43 MLAs in the year 2018, out of which 4 were ministers. In Jharkhand too, the party cut the tickets of more than a dozen MLAs so that the youth as well as the faces representing women and people from the SC/ST community could be included.
Another source said that performance is not the only factor for ticket distribution. He said that the BJP will also have to find such faces who have a hold in the local caste-community and are capable of bringing good results in the elections. Professor MM Semwal, working in the Department of Political Science, HNB Garhwal University, says, “By cutting MLAs’ tickets, several purposes are served, such as diverting people’s attention and reducing anger.”