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Posted at: May 26, 2018, 2:05 AM; last updated: May 26, 2018, 12:00 PM (IST)

As it completes 4 years in power, BJP rules out early General Election

As it completes 4 years in power, BJP rules out early General Election
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. File photo

Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, May 25


Contrary to speculations, the BJP has ruled out advancing Lok Sabha elections dates or a change of leadership in Rajasthan. A top leader said on Friday that the BJP would contest all the three party-ruled States—Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh—under the leadership of incumbent chief ministers.

While Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh are said to share a “good relationship” with the central leadership, namely, BJP chief Amit Shah, the same cannot be said about Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje

The party’s embarrassing loss in Alwar and Ajmer Lok Sabha by-polls exposed chinks in Rajasthan state unit and the party's inability to hold its own in the upcoming Assembly elections under Raje. There is also no decision so far on Rajasthan state president because Shah and Raje have failed to agree upon a mutually acceptable candidate, claim sources.

However, given its lack of “viable options”, the BJP doesn’t appear to have very many choices besides Raje, although the sources also insist that elevation in stature of a union minister from the state—Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore—is "linked to party's plans for Rajasthan".      

Meanwhile, quelling all guesswork on the BJP pushing for early Lok Sabha elections, the BJP leader said polls would be held “as per the schedule”.

“There is no question about us (BJP) trying to pre-pone elections; the elections will be held as per the schedule,” he said on the eve of the BJP completing its four years in power at the Centre.

With the Lok Sabha elections now a year away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will hold nation-wide events to showcase achievements in past four years with a slogan—“Saaf Niyat, Sahi Vikas”. The fourth anniversary follows the Karnataka outcome, and precedes Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections due later this year.

Fuelled by BSP leader Mayawati, who after Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha by-polls, said the BJP may push for early General Election, the speculations gained momentum after Karnataka Assembly elections. Currently the BJP has 272 seats in Lok Sabha, down from 282 it walked in with in 2014 elections.
 

Also, on the eve of completion of four years of the BJP government at the Centre, some independent surveys are pointing towards a change in the party's fortunes in the three States.

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