Rajasthan: Nothing seems to be going right for the ruling BJP

Surveys conducted by BJP in the state has revealed that out of the 160 sitting MLAs in a House of 200, about a hundred are not in a position to win again.

Rajasthan: Nothing seems to be going right for the ruling BJP

Prakash Bhandari

Nothing is going right for the ruling BJP in poll-bound Rajasthan. The ground level surveys conducted by the party’s hierarchy in the state have shown the party in a very poor light and the party has feedback that out of the 160 sitting MLAs in a house of 200, about a 100 are not in a position to win again. Never before has the party faced such a situation when the sitting MLAs have become such a liability.

Adding to it, party supreme Amit Shah is at loggerheads with the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

The survey conducted by the party through its trusts and involving an independent agency has come out with its report which was based on the outcome of the Gaurav Yatra which the Chief Minister took out to tell the masses about the achievement of the government. The Gaurav Yatra was the first indicator of the annoyance of the party workers which they showed during the rallies. It was in the Gaurav Yatra where the party workers blamed the sitting MLAs from the area for their non-performance. On the other hand, the legislators blamed the Chief Minister for making her administration bureaucracy-heavy which resulted in marginalising the role of the MLAs.

The survey conducted by the party outnumbered the list of the sitting MLAs whom the Chief Minister had decided to drop for non-performance. The Chief Minister's list had 62 sitting MLAs who were selected on the basis of caste lines and she was hell-bent on denying them the ticket and replacing them with someone worthier and capable of winning the election with an anti-incumbency factor that the Raje government was facing.

This has led to an impasse between Amit Shah and Vasundhara Raje and they will have to come out with a common formula and a common policy on who should be given re-nomination and who should not.

The list prepared by the survey has common names and it was based on caste consideration and the profile of the constituencies and the Congress candidates in these constituencies who are expected to be  pitted in the electoral battle. But while Vasundhara was cautious in choosing the  unworthy candidates after duly studying the caste equations and the party worker’s feedback, the survey conducted by the party was based on the pulse of the party workers and also the electorates.

The survey took all the elements in the surveys and pre-poll assessments of all the news channels to come to a conclusion. Majority of the channels were of the opinion that the party was not winning more than 50 to 60 seats. The surveys found that the issue before the voters was not Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the BJP, but Vasundhara Raje who is being blamed squarely for the non-performance of the government she headed. The people in the state are unhappy that even after giving the BJP a massive mandate in both the Vidhan Sabha and subsequently the Lok Sabha poll, the government remained non-performing.

Party supremo Shah is not  allowing Vasundhara Raje to use her clout in disbursing the tickets and the surveys conducted by the party with the focus on caste equations, the development work in the constituency, the voting patterns in the 2013 Vidhan Sabha  and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and also the profile of the Congress candidates in each constituency. This survey gave startling results as it found that more than a hundred sitting MLAs including the ministers are not in a position to retain their seats.

But the party’s survey has not taken into consideration the large-scale damage that the dropped MLAs would cause and a large number of them would still contest the elections as Independents or by joining other parties. In at least 15 reserved seats, the dropped MLAs were ready to join the BSP. The rebels number would be all-time high threatening the chances of the party’s candidates.

In the last Lok Sabha elections the party won all the 25 seats and later two of the sitting party”s MPs died  that resulted in the bye-election. The Congress won both the Alwar and the Ajmer Lok Sabha bye-elections.

Out of the 23 sitting BJP MPs, at least 15 of them are seeking tickets to contest the Vidhan Sabha elections. These 23 sitting MPs are in a panic situation and are not sure of winning the Lok Sabha  polls if the Congress comes back to power in the state. These persons seeking the Vidhan Sabha elections are those who did not get any worthwhile recognition at the Centre because of such a large number of senior BJP MPs. These members are keen to return to the state politics for their political future.

“A large number of sitting MPs who are seeking party’s nomination for the Vidhan Sabha election prove that the party is on a sticky wicket. There is a panic situation and are keen to contest the Vidhan Sabha election from their home constituencies to ensure their political future for the next five years. Those who are seeking tickets are the sitting MPs from  Jaipur, Banswara, Barmer, Bhilwara,Rajsamand, Jhunjhunu,Sikar and other constituencies.

Vasundhara Raje, who was in favour of denying nominations to the 60 odd MLAs have not got the feedback that this would lead to great rebellion and the party would suffer heavily because of the rebels who would not allow the nominated party candidate to win.

This has led to an impasse between Amit Shah and Vasundhara Raje and they will have to come out with a common formula and a common policy on who should be given re-nomination and who should not.

Two of the BJP MLAs Ghanshyam Tiwari and  Hanuman Beniwal, who turned rebels have floated their own parties. Beniwal has flaited Rashtriya Loktantarik  Dal while Tiwari has floated Bharat Vahini. While Beniwal was suspended by the BJP three years ago, Tiwari despite floating his own party  is still a member of the BJP. These two rebels are just waiting for the BJP to announce its list and they would grab the opportunity to give refuge to the rebels in their outfits.

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