The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is readying for some experimentation in the upcoming urban local body elections in Madhya Pradesh. These experiments could be part of the strategy for the Assembly election due in 2023.
The dates for the panchayat elections have been announced, while for the urban body polls, which will be party-based, are expected to be announced soon. In these elections, the mayor will be directly elected by the people, whereas in the municipal corporation, the office bearers will be elected by the councillors.
Sources informed that the party prefers new faces in the urban body polls. People in the party have also brainstormed over this. In the coming days, committees will be formed in the party and they will launch a search for such candidates.
The BJP has been experimenting in Madhya Pradesh for years. At present, the new faces under consideration include state president Vishnu Dutt Sharma and the state executive and district level officials. A similar experiment will be tried in the urban body elections where the party is going to prioritise educated people from different fields and those working in the public domain.
Party sources say that the reason behind bringing new faces to the fore is to curb nepotism. The party has decided that only one person from a family will be made a candidate, and if the member of that family is an office bearer in the organisation, then he/she will not be given a ticket. However, he will have the option of leaving the organisation and then ask for a ticket for himself or for a family member.
BJP state spokesperson Dr. Hitesh Bajpai said: “Urban body elections are important for any political party and the BJP is also serious about it. The party always goes to the elections with its policies and plans in the interest of the people. The same will happen in this election. As far as the candidature is concerned, a competent person will be selected by the party.”
On the other hand, the vice president of the media department of the Congress Abbas Hafeez said the “BJP is scared about the urban body elections because there is dissatisfaction among the people. The BJP wants to enter the election fray by changing faces, but its effort will fail. First, the BJP will lose the urban body elections and then it will have to face defeat in the assembly polls”.
According to political analysts, the urban body elections are like a semi-final before the assembly elections. The BJP is running a test in these elections by fielding new faces and if it succeeds, the party can further stake claim to the new entrants in the subsequent polls. Overall, the BJP does not want dissatisfaction among the people.