NEW DELHI: In a prelude to final candidate selection for general elections, BJP chief Amit Shah is learnt to have given one month’s time to the party’s sitting MPs to submit individual reports on their chances of winning the poll. Apparently aware that the anti-incumbency factor has built up against a number of BJP Lok Sabha MPs, the leadership has also sought to know from them if they desire to contest from alternative Parliamentary constituencies in the upcoming elections.
The BJP top brass also appears to be making performances of the party in Assembly constituencies key benchmarks in the selection process of candidates for the Lok Sabha. Along with Shah, BJP Organisational secretary Ram Lal has held meetings with BJP Lok Sabha MPs from all states in the last few days.
“The MPs were provided with printed forms which included a set of questions, including performances of the BJP candidates in the Assembly elections held in their respective states since 2014. Besides, a few of the MPs were bluntly told that internal assessment reports suggested least chances of their winning the upcoming elections, and, therefore, would they still like to contest the elections,” sources said.
Incidentally, 12 Lok Sabha MPs trailed in their respective Parliamentary constituencies in the just-concluded state polls in Madhya Pradesh on the basis of aggregating total votes polled by the nominees of the saffron outfit. Also, victory margins of a number of MPs in the state have significantly came down on the basis of votes polled by the party in the Assembly polls.
“The MPs have been asked to submit reports within a month on their assessments of strengths and weaknesses, besides factors which could influence the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections. Their reports will be taken into account when the party zeroes in on nominees for the Lok Sabha elections,” sources added.
Changing constituencies of a few of the sitting MPs, besides dropping a good number of them appear to be the evolving strategy of the BJP to beat the anti-incumbency factor in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, sources noted. The BJP currently has 268 Lok Sabha MPs, while the party had won 282 seats in the 2014 elections.