One of the most crucial rounds of state elections is approaching. It is considered as the semi-finals before the final match of 2019 general elections and rightly so. Three BJP governed states, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh along with Mizoram and Telangana are going to enter polls in November-December, just before the general elections, which is going to be a carnage for the throne. These elections will definitely affect the outcome of the 2019 General elections and to some extent determine the voting psyche of the masses ahead of 2019 general elections. Considering the fact that all the three states are BJP ruled, retaining these states is all the more pivotal in replicating a thunderous victory akin to 2014.
Confident about winning 2019 general elections, Prime Minister Modi and BJP President Amit Shah is going to employ their tried and tested success formulary. Replacing sub-performing MLAs/ministers was one of the reasons why Modi-Shah duo managed to win and defeat anti-incumbency factor in Gujarat. They are going to employ a similar formulae to counter anti-incumbency in poll-bound states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.
In the first list of 77 candidates for the 90 member Chhattisgarh assembly, the BJP has not offered tickets to 14 sitting MLAs including a minister. The party denied ticket to Women and Girl Child Welfare Minister- Ramshila Sahu- who happens to be a MLA from Durg rural.
According to the Hindustan Times report, the BJP in MP is thinking to not to field about one third of its 165 sitting MLAs in the upcoming state assembly elections in order to counter pervasive anti-incumbency sentiment and come back to power four times in a row in the state. Based on party’s survey over the period of six months, there is a strong anti-incumbency against 35 to 40% of the MLAs. A party leader said, “They include at least six ministers in (chief minister Shivraj Singh) Chouhan’s cabinet.” The Hindustan Times has quoted a state BJP office-bearer saying, “The party workers gave a frank opinion as to who should be the party candidate from their respective assembly constituencies in the interest of the party, irrespective of their affiliation with the sitting MLAs.”
According to the Times of India report, the BJP is excogitating a drop of 80 to 100 out of the sitting 160 MLAs in Rajasthan in order to continue its winning streak. The party is likely to field young first-time candidates to counter anti-incumbency. The decision of dropping the sitting MLAs will be taken on the basis of feedback regarding lawmakers’ performance gathered from party surveys. Ticket distribution on the basis of performance makes lawmakers’ more accountable and tread a tightrope. This is not only a bid to bring new faces but also to cement the ‘perform or perish’ policy of the centre.
This can also be seen as a message that MP tickets for 2019 general elections are going to be distributed on the basis of performance which is a good way to make MPs more accountable to their constituency. This stratagem has worked before and it would be interesting to see whether this formula would work again or not.
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