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The BJP on Tuesday announced that it will not field any sitting councillors or their family member for the upcoming municipal elections — a decision that led to some murmurs of discontent within the party. A meeting between Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari and all councillors was held on Tuesday at the party office, after which Tiwari said that new and young faces will get an opportunity to contest municipal polls. “The purpose behind this decision is to develop a new leadership. We have held consultations at every level of the party, besides talking to present councillors, and all of them have accepted the decision. Hence, the present councillors and their family members will not be given tickets for the ensuing civic elections,” said Tiwari.
The Indian Express had reported on Monday that only fresh faces will be given tickets this time around. Municipal corporations in the capital have been headed by the BJP for the last 10 years. According to sources, many of the sitting councillors have been promised tickets for the next Assembly elections and other posts in the organisation. Tuesday’s meeting saw objections from some councillors, who claimed that all the work done by them in their wards will be wasted if they aren’t given tickets. After the meeting, however, a majority of them put up a brave face for the cameras, saying they are party workers and will abide by the BJP’s decision.
“We agree that the organisation is supreme, but in my area, I can win because of my personal equation with people. I have worked hard, but that has been nullified by today’s decision,” said a councillor. A few said, off the record, that the Gujarat model of not repeating sitting councillors will not work in Delhi. The top brass, it is learnt, believes that the dissatisfaction will be contained soon and anti-party activities will be nipped in the bud. Sources said some councillors believe they can win the elections if they fight as independents. Tiwari maintained that the BJP has taken an “organisational decision” unanimously with the office bearers.