BJP, Congress struggle to select Madhya Pradesh candidatesOctober 21st, 2008 - 5:08 pm ICT by IANS
Bhopal, Oct 21 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress are facing an uphill task in selecting candidates for the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections.The Congress has so far cleared 70 odd names for the 230 member assembly, a party official said.
Even after a week of the poll dates being announced, it was struggling to finalise its candidates for the remaining 160 constituencies. It has 40 members in the present assembly.
The BJP too is finding it hard to finalise its candidates. The party’s state election committee meets Oct 23-24 in Bhopal.
After it prepares the panels of names, they would be discussed at the meeting of the party’s parliamentary board in Delhi slated for October 31 - a day when the filing of nomination in the state starts.
BJP’s internal assessment has shown many sitting lawmakers to be hugely unpopular.
“There are reports that the BJP wants to replace up to 60 sitting MLAs out of 173 in the 230-member assembly. But in doing so there are fears of an exodus to Uma Bharti’s BJS (Bharatiya Jan Shakti party) by those who are denied party tickets. The party is thus working on finding out a formula to prevent the flight of jilted candidates.
“For the selection of candidates, the party is in search of some miraculous formula that would satisfy the aspirations of the constituency and also save the party from rebellion,” a senior party leader told IANS.
“Those denied assembly election tickets may be promised chairmanship of any of the numerous state-run boards and corporations if the party returns to power,” he said.
During the 2003 assembly elections, the BJP was the first to announce its candidates. But this time it is the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) that had started declaring candidates almost six months in advance.