PM's diktat leaves party seniors worried

PM's diktat leaves party seniors worried

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diktat to BJP leaders that they should not seek ticket for their family members has dampened the mood of some seniors, particularly in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

Though the prime minister’s  call came a week ago, when he had wrapped up the party’s national executive, the message has begun to sink in only now. With party chief Amit Shah setting in motion an elaborate selection process, senior leaders are wondering whether the futures of their kith and kin will be totally disregarded, as the “winning ability” of any aspirant will be the key factor for getting nomination.

Among those hoping for a ticket include Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj, the party’s state unit general secretary, who has been hoping for a ticket since 2000.
During the period when his father was the national party chief, Pankaj had opted out of the race. When the prime minister spoke at the national executive on the issue of nepotism, the home minister was not present.

State BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya has already said the party would only consider the children of leaders, if they, apart from figuring in the party survey, have served the party for at least 10 years.

Many leaders who recently joined the party from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are also seeking tickets for their family. They include Swami Prasad Maurya, Brajesh Pathak and Jugal Kishore.

Those who joined the BJP recently, including former state Congress committee chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Maurya, are also members of the BJP’s state election committee that would recommend candidates from a huge pile of 25,000 applicants.

Maurya joined the BJP with his son Utkrisht and daughter Sanghamitra, for whom he is seeking a party ticket along with him. Maurya’s son and daughters had contested the 2012 polls on BSP tickets.

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