Keen to claim victory is at its doorsteps, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has shown little appetite for any out of box thinking in candidate selection.
Both youth and women are yet to find favor in a big way as is the case with Muslims. The party has repeated 92 out of 116 parliamentarians in 15th Lok Sabha. The party has so far fielded 419 candidates and the tally is likely to cross anywhere in the range of 450-475.
BJP’s list of nominees for upcoming Lok Sabha polls doesn’t comprise many young faces. This is despite the fact that 10 per cent of voters will cast their votes for the very first time this year.
An analysis of age of 230 out of 419 contenders from BJP shows only 67 of them fall within the age group of 50. This works out to an average age of 56. The party has not shared age details of its candidates. However, an analysis of age data culled out from secondary sources as and where available reveals a bias towards 50 plus candidates.
Interestingly, the saffron party has also fielded five candidates in the age bracket of 80-86. At 86 BJP’s patriarch Lal Krishna Advani is the oldest candidate in the fray from the party. Dilipbhai Patel at 30 is the youngest candidate of the list announced by the party so far. He has been fielded from Anand in Gujarat.
BJP has stuck to the time test formulae of relying on experience and fielding predominantly male candidates. Along with youth, it seems that women too are falling behind in ticket distribution by BJP. There are 36 female candidates as against 374 male candidates in the ten lists announced by the party so far. This means women comprise about 9 per cent of the total participants announced yet by BJP.
In terms of giving opportunities to Muslims in general elections, the saffron party has so far selected six Muslim candidates. The party has given tickets to three Muslim wannabe MPs from Jammu and Kashmir. Further, the BJP has also selected two and one candidate from West Bengal and Bihar respectively.
BJP has also repeated a large number of sitting MPs. Many sitting MLAs have also got the ticket to enter the parliament. So far 92 MPs and 38 MLAs have got the party ticket. The saffron party has also fielded 27 and 28 ex-MPs (Lok Sabha) and MLA’s respectively.
The BJP has so far announced its candidates from 31 states and union territories. The party is yet to announce its candidates from Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram and Pondicherry. The party has so far announced its candidates in ten phases and in coming days few more lists are likely to come.