Sleepless nights for ticket aspirants

SOLAN: Field surveys conducted by the BJP to gauge the strength of each candidate is giving sleepless nights to many as this could be the decisive factor for selecting contestants.

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, October 6

Field surveys conducted by the BJP to gauge the strength of each candidate is giving sleepless nights to many as this could be the decisive factor for selecting contestants.

The level of anxiety this system has generated can be determined from the fact that a ticket aspirant in Solan tried to tilt the balance in his favour within a section of the BJP. A meeting was convened by the mandal’s general secretary, Shailender Gupta, in Solan, where a member of the survey team was also present. The leaders not only vouched for the candidature of a particular aspirant, but also termed the others weak. The incident, however, irked senior BJP leaders as it was seen as an attempt to influence the survey team.

Mandal president Ravinder Parihar, on being apprised of the meeting by the senior BJP leaders, suspended Gupta and issued him a notice to explain why such a meeting had been convened. Inquires revealed that the person presented as the surveyor was in fact an auditor appointed with the 'parivartan rath' to record its activities by the central BJP. The incident while exposing the fissures within the party at this crucial juncture also revealed how desperation for ticket had become high.

With the BJP having lost this seat in the last poll, the party was keen to give ticket to a candidate having maximum support. Sheela Kumari, who had lost by 4,472 votes, continues to be the favourite with the senior leaders, though two new candidates are aspiring to replace her.

BJP’s state spokesperson Rajiv Bindal said they were looking into the incident, which was unfortunate, that too at this crucial juncture when the elections were round the corner.

What has added to the desperation of the ticket aspirants was the fact that no applications have been invited from the aspirants either by the mandal or the district units. Earlier, apart from the survey, lists forwarded by the districts were also considered. Aspirants who were banking on the support of the senior leaders, but had done little on the ground, were spending sleepless nights though it remains to be seen whether surveys alone will be the deciding factor.

The survey, which was based on a multi-pronged approach, weighed the candidature of aspirants on various parameters like comparative strength vis-à-vis congress candidates, public opinion, individual weakness and strength.

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