BJP ticket race hots up as party veterans hold outhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/bjp-ticket-race-hots-up-as-party-veterans-hold-out/

BJP ticket race hots up as party veterans hold out

The younger leaders,the sources said,believe that they stand a better chance of winning.

With the party still to release its list of candidates for the Assembly polls,BJP hopefuls are lobbying all around for tickets. Younger leaders,party sources said,were disappointed that veterans who had been defeated in earlier elections were still being considered for tickets.

These younger leaders,the sources said,believe that they stand a better chance of winning. Party veterans who had been defeated in the municipal elections and in Assembly elections since 2003 remained frontrunners for tickets. Sources in the BJP said these hopefuls were those who had close ties with the party brass and central leadership.

The move has left younger leaders grumbling. “The party has renominated Nand Kishore Garg twice though he has lost elections twice. Mange Ram Garg lost in last Assembly polls and is still seeking a ticket from Wazipur for himself or a family member,” a party leader claimed.

Sixty-six-year-old Radhey Shyam Sharma’s name is also doing the rounds for R K Puram constituency. Sharma has lost one corporation election and the last Assembly election.

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Septuagenarian Ram Bhaj,who was defeated in Malviya Nagar,expects the party ticket from New Delhi constituency. Om Prakash Sharma,who lost Vishwas Nagar in 2008,is considered a strong contender for the ticket in this election too.

Bhola Nath Vij,who in his 60s,is also a frontrunner for the ticket from Model Town. Kailash Sankhla,who was defeated by Congress MLA Mala Ram Gangwal in 2003 and 2008 elections,still hopes to be nominated.

“By neglecting those who can win,the party has lost seats in the past and by giving tickets to such candidates,the BJP is playing with fire. These leaders say it is their last chance. What they fail to understand is that winnability should be the only criteria,” a young BJP leader said.

Asked whether tickets would be given to those who had lost the last elections,chief ministerial candidate Hardh Vardhan said,“Losing elections cannot be the sole criteria for not giving tickets. However,Delhi in-charge Nitin Gadkari is trying to ensure that only those who can win will get tickets.”