BJP's ticket distribution in UP ruffles feathers among party workers
Uttar Pradesh is barely a fortnight away from the Assembly polls and the BJP appears to be in a spot over its 32-page poll manifesto Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra. The ticket distribution policy, crafted by party president Amit Shah and other party vanguards, has also made the situation tough for the party. Political observers feel that the saffron party is getting into similar problems as the ruling Samajwadi Party.
BJP, the world's largest political party having 16 crore cadres, seems to have failed in managing poll pundits' calculations and in appeasing its cadres. Besides tickets to young faces and nod to political inheritance, the inclusion of rival party faces and leaders with criminal background has put the party in a serious trouble and irked many. Party tickets to former Rajya Sabha MP and ousted BSP leader Narendra Kashyap, who was behind bars for the dowry death of his daughter-in-law, and former Lok Sabha MP from Unnao and former BSP strongman Brajesh Pathak from Lucknow (central) have also been the eye sores for party workers.
Rebel SP MLA and mafia-turned-politician Vijay Mishra and his daughter Seema Mishra also created the buzz when the news appeared that they might join BJP. Their proximity with saffron top brass miffed the party cadres at the grassroots level. The three-time MLA from Gyanpur seat in Bhadohi district, Mishra along with hundreds of party workers and office bearers resigned from SP after he was denied ticket.
Moreover, ticket allocation to some of the BJP MLAs and ministers has also shown party's safe move to 'acrimonious politics'. While deciding the candidates for the poll-bound state Uttar Pradesh, apparently the party avoided to take risk that resulted in the candidature of Muzaffarnagar riots accused Sangeet Som. Other controversial faces in the list include Dadri-lynching accused Sanjay Rana and Union Minister Sanjeev Balyan. Though after both Dadri and Muzaffarnagar incidents, the party seemed to keep distance from these leaders but eventually the party president Shah chose to play safe.
When asked whether the BJP actually narrates the party's 'transparent' approach and 'sanctity', a senior party leader clarified that the ticket distribution policy will help the party's expansion and will strengthen its base in the most populous state. Even during the release of party's poll manifesto on Saturday, BJP's national president Amit Shah clarified that providing tickets to sons and daughters of sitting MLAs or ministers doesn't define political legacy. It is because they are also party workers and they deserve it. Attacking the SP and Congress, he also added that, "Political legacy is when a state's CM or a country's PM gets the power with their birth."
At the same time, sources said that BJP's ideological partner Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) also decided to take on a more politically active position in Lucknow on behalf of the BJP as the Sangh's general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale was active in key BJP rallies and publicity drives. According to sources, Hosabale has a say in the party's decisions. Hosabale along with a team of six of the organisation's secretaries are taking up the charge of deciding all aspects of election management for the BJP.