BJP aspirants jittery over delay in ticket

SHIMLA: The delay in announcement of BJP candidates for the Assembly poll is making ticket aspirants and their supporters impatient and rumours regarding changes in the list are stirring up a rebellion in some constituencies.

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 16

The delay in announcement of BJP candidates for the Assembly poll is making ticket aspirants and their supporters impatient and rumours regarding changes in the list are stirring up a rebellion in some constituencies.

While candidates for most constituencies have been finalised, the last-minute changes on six seats to accommodate women aspirants have upset the applecart of some potential candidates who are waiting for official announcement to announce their future strategy.

Insiders reveal that the candidates, whose names stand cleared, have been intimated and given a go-ahead but the exact number of these could not be ascertained. The names of six candidates are in the last stage of finalisation and the approval of party chief Amit Shah, who is in Gujarat, is awaited. The changes in candidates in Kangra have reportedly irked Kangra MP Shanta Kumar, who returned to Palampur. State party chief Satpal Singh Satti was also back. The seats of former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who had won from Hamirpur, and Narinder Thakur, sitting MLA from Sujanpur, have reportedly been swapped while ticket of 24 sitting MLAs have been confirmed. Rumours are also in the air that some candidates have got the authority letters, but there is no confirmation from senior leaders or candidates.

The decision of the party to give ticket to former Congress minister Anil Sharma from Mandi and reports of not fielding former ministers Kishan Kapoor from Dharamsala, Romesh Dhawal from Jwalamukhi and former MLA from Palampur Praveen Sharma, have agitated local leaders, who are ready to revolt. Some BJP leaders have gone public on the social media and questioned that why the party conducted the surveys, if other considerations were to prevail.

Sources said the ticket to sitting MLA from Shimla Suresh Bharadwaj, former minister Narendra Bragta from Jubbal and Kotkhai, Independent MLA from Chopal Balbir Verma, former MLA Rakesh Verma from Theog and Tejwant Negi from Kinnaur was confirmed. All four candidates from Bilaspur, home district of Union Health Minister JP Nadda, have been finalised, indicating that he may not contest the poll.

The filing of nominations began today but no papers were filed. Meanwhile, the BJP has filed a complaint against the alleged misuse of official machinery by politically appointees like chairperson and vice-chairperson of boards and corporations, even after imposition of code of conduct and sought action from Chief Electoral Officer.

Revolt talk in the air

The decision of the party to give ticket to minister Anil Sharma from Mandi and reports of not fielding former ministers Kishan Kapoor from Dharamsala, Romesh Dhawal from Jwalamukhi and former MLA from Palampur Praveen Sharma have agitated local leaders, who are ready to revolt.

Green signal

The ticket to sitting MLA from Shimla Suresh Bharadwaj, former minister Narendra Bragta from Jubbal and Kotkhai, Independent MLA from Chopal Balbir Verma, former MLA Rakesh Verma from Theog and Tejwant Negi from Kinnaur was confirmed.

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