Bengaluru: BJP National General Secretary (Org) BL Santosh’s statement calling BJP workers ‘to toil for the party first’ has led to a huge debate in the party circles.
Santhosh made the statement during a training camp of the BJP held at Shivamogga. This has created disquiet among BJP ticket aspirants for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections.
The statement is being interpreted as an ‘indirect message’ to some ministers and MLAs that they may not get party tickets this time round.
A few days ago, a tweet made by Rajya Sabha member Lehar Singh created a headache for many seniors within the BJP. In the Gujarat assembly elections, more than 30 sitting BJP MLAs, including many seniors, failed to secure a ticket and were replaced with new faces. Lehar Singh had advocated that tickets should be distributed in Karnataka in a similar manner.
B L Santhosh’s statements seem to be in the same vein. Rumour mills are speculating that those who have got multiple chances earlier might not get a ticket in the Karnataka Assembly polls next year.
Earlier, BJP had employed a similar tactic in Delhi’s MCD elections of 2017. Almost all the existing MCD councilors were dropped and replaced with fresh faces. The result was astounding as it scored a massive win in all three municipal bodies — SDMC, NDMC, and EDMC.
A group of BJPs has also put forward a demand that this experiment should be implemented in Karnataka too. One opinion is that new faces need to replace the current leaders to tame the anti-incumbency wave.
Whether BJP leadership will repeat the formula and give preference to new candidates, remains to be seen.