The state BJP has devised a novel way of keeping in good humour ministers who are to be denied ticket for the assembly elections to be held later this year. If sources in the party are to be believed, all ministers of the state government have been asked to meet the party’s joint general secretary (organisation), V Satish, regarding their respective claims over various constituencies.
Satish gently tells ministers who are to be dropped this election that they should suggest names of candidates who could be fielded in their place and win with their support. The sources said that this not only saves the party the embarrassment of telling the minister on his face that he would not be fielded this time but also keeps the leader in good humour.
There is a strong possibility that many of the ministers would not be fielded by the party in the upcoming assembly elections, a source said.
“Some have lost their constituencies because of delimitation while some others are too old and the party is not keen to repeat them. However, these ministers are very influential in their constituencies and are capable of swinging the results against the party. Hence the party does not want to hurt their egos,” said the source.
A senior BJP worker said on the condition of anonymity that there was a possibility that the party may not field this time leaders like minister of state for planning Ranjit Gillitwala, who has lost his constituency in Surat because of delimitation.
“The party is also thinking of dropping minister of state for labour and employment Liladhar Vaghela on health grounds as he is recovering from a heart ailment. But these leaders are senior in the party and are very influential in their constituencies. For instance, Vaghela is a powerful leader of the Thakor community in Banaskatha. He is very influential in his constituency, Deesa. The party cannot afford to offend him as he can hurt the party’s prospects in his constituency,” the BJP worker said.
Hence, as part of a strategy, all ministers have been asked to meet the party’s national joint general secretary (organization) V Satish, regarding their claim on various constituencies, the party worker said.
“Satish is meeting all ministers one by one and giving them a hearing. He is a very soft-spoken person and, therefore, is able to tell ministers who are to be dropped that the party may not field them this time. He then requests them to suggest other suitable candidates who could win with their support. Satish also tells them that this is the party’s decision,” the BJP worker said.
Sources said that the final authority for selecting candidates for the upcoming elections is the parliamentary board. “But it is an open secret that the final word on a candidate comes from chief minister Narendra Modi. By sending to V Satish all ministers, including those who are to be denied ticket, Modi doesn’t come into the picture at all,” a source said.