It would seem so. Times of India reports the party has finalized a list of 250 candidates it believes can deliver them that number and the list does not include several party veterans and stalwarts.
BJP is to announce its first list today as it’s been busy microplanning its strategy for every constituency keeping in mind local caste and popularity arithmetic.
Most prominent among the stalwarts likely to be given a miss are L.K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi; both leaders are known to hold a critical view on Narendra Modi.
It was the Sangh Parivar’s advisory in the run-up to the 2014 General elections that leaders over 75 years be rested from executive duties. Taking a cue from it, this year several senior party leaders like former Union Minister Kalraj Mishra, former Uttarakhand CM BC Khanduri and BS Koshiyari, former CM Himachal Pradesh Shanta Kumar and former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan are reported to have withdrawn themselves from contesting in the 2019 general elections.
All these leaders still have a following within the party cadres, and it will be interesting to see
BJP’s North East strategy floundering; NPP emerging as the Dark Horse
BJP President Amit Shah’s northeast calculations have taken a hit with 25 party leaders having quit the party on being denied tickets. The list includes two sitting BJP ministers in Arunachal Pradesh and six MLAs, all of whom have joined Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party (NPP). Arunachal Pradesh is holding simultaneous polls for state assembly and Lok Sabha seats.
BJP has faced recent defections in many other northeastern states. In Tripura, BJP vice-president Subal Bhowmik and BJP SC Morcha leader Prakash Chandra Das have joined the Congress. In Assam, sitting BJP MP and Gorkha leader Ram Prasad Sarmah too has quit the party.
The contentious Citizenship Bill opposed by many political allies of the BJP, many of which have decided to fight the polls independent of BJP support. The NPP, which is vehemently opposing the Bill is fast emerging the bigger gainer having taken the lead by convening a NEDA meet in Guwahati to oppose the Bill. The initiative has seen the NPP’s popularity increase at the cost of BJP, and it may well emerge as the dark horse this year.
Congress fights CPI(M) in Kerala, partners in Mahe
The paradox of politics is on display in Kerala where the Congress and CPI(M) will lock horns over 12 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats but will join hands in nearby Mahe, and possibly in West Bengal.
The Hindu reports both the Congress and CPI(M) are ready to take on each other as these seats are likely to have a strong impact on national politics in case there is a hung parliament. The BJP is not sitting idle as it plans to cash in on the favourable Sabrimala sentiment and is hoping for maximum gains in a state it has been trying very hard to break. Both the Congress and CPI(M) recognize BJP as the rising threat in Kerala.