NEW DELHI: Aiming to reverse the recent electoral trend of change in Rajasthan, BJP Chief Amit Shah has seemingly taken full control of the campaign in the state, besides squeezing role of chief minister Vasundhara Raje in ticket distribution.
Sources said that Raje has been told to identify only 60 candidates of her choice out of the total 200 Assembly constituencies. "The Central BJP in consultations with the state unit of the party will decide candidates for remaining 140 Assembly constituencies in Rajasthan. The BJP chief has gathered multiple ground inputs about sitting legislators and probable," sources said.
The BJP chief and Rajasthan chief minister had held a number of deliberations to fill the vacancy for the state unit chief. Not yielding to Raje's insistence on her choice for the state unit chief, Shah had appointed the Rajya Sabha MP Madan Lal Saini, who has a long association with the RSS, to lead the party in the state."Ground reports state overwhelming anti-incumbency against the chief minister along with a large number of legislators. It's imperative for the BJP chief to counter the anti-incumbency to reverse the recent electoral trend in the state of an incumbent government being voted out," sources added.
The BJP is seemingly gearing up to drop a large number of sitting legislators to beat the anti-incumbency against them. "The Central BJP is already ready with a tentative list of candidates for each Assembly seat. The party is also keeping a close watch on the Congress. Indeed, the BJP will be accommodating a few of the influential Congress leaders who can win elections and also influence the outcome in surrounding constituencies," sources added.
The BJP is also likely to delay the announcement of the names of the candidates for the December 7 elections to ensure that the party legislators being denied re-nomination don't defect to the Congress. "The BJP chief is undertaking intense campaigning in Rajasthan. He's working at the micro-planning for each region in the state. Rajasthan will also be a test of his electoral acumen," sources said.
With a battery of Central leaders unleashed for campaigning in the state, the BJP chief is also seemingly giving a signal that there wouldn't be any more autonomous functioning of the state government under Raje in the event of the BJP retaining power in the state.