50 Per Cent of Congress MPs Won't Get Lok Sabha Poll Ticket
By Santwana Bhattacharya | Published: 31st December 2013 07:47 AM |
In the aftermath of the Assembly elections where the Congress faced a complete rout, specifically in Delhi and Rajasthan, where from being the party-in-power it was reduced to an all-time low of eight and 21 seats respectively, the grand old party steered by its young leader Rahul Gandhi is planning for a startling course correction. It may replace 50 per cent of its sitting MPs in the coming the Lok Sabha elections, most likely in favour of fresh, young faces.
A state-wise data-sheet has been prepared after obtaining feedback from grassroot-level party workers and voters on the performance, political heft, public-works done as well as whether the MP won on his own steam or was helped by the votes transferred by a regional ally. “The party will most likely replace 50 per cent of the sitting MPs and desist from giving tickets to relatives, kith and kin,” said a prominent Congress MP, himself a son of a high-profile leader, adding “Rahulji is looking at fielding people with a clean image, keeping the winnability factor in mind” — for “big parties like ours such a factor cannot be entirely ruled out”.
In fact, taking a leaf out of the Aam Aadmi Party, the Congress is also planning to field professionals, first-timers — like Nandan Nilekani in Bangalore — to make a difference in the electoral arena.
How much of the dynastic card can be cut to counter the BJP’s perennial carp against the Congress is not known, given the fact that the party’s second-in-command himself is a scion. But the decision of replacing sitting MPs to give a new feel and face to the grand old party is being “actively considered”, another senior leader of the party confirmed.
The decision of replacing sitting MPs seems to have also been prompted by the abysmal performance of the Congress MLAs in the last round of Assembly polls — Delhi being a case in point where all sitting MLAs were repeated and were felled by the strong anti-incumbency wave against the Sheila Dikshit government. Of the 42 sitting MLAs, only eight won and even Dikshit lost her seat to new Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal by a huge margin.
In Rajasthan too, the party was reduced to 21 from 92 seats.