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HomePoliticsGujarat Election 2017BJP may axe half its Gujarat MLAs to fight anti-incumbency

BJP may axe half its Gujarat MLAs to fight anti-incumbency

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Amit Shah analysed the report card of all 120 MLAs and apparently found public anger against many non-performing legislators.

New Delhi: The BJP is likely to deny tickets to 40 to 50 per cent of its sitting MLAs in Gujarat to counter anti-incumbency in next month’s assembly elections.

Sources in the Gujarat BJP told ThePrint that party president Amit Shah had assessed the political situation on the ground, and analysed the report card of each of its 120 MLAs. He found that there was public anger against many MLAs who had not done any work in their areas, but he believes the sentiment is against the candidates themselves, and not the party.

“People like [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi for his clean image and can vote for him, but there are MLAs who have lost all respect. The crime rate has increased in some parts, and there are complaints of corruption against some,” a senior Gujarat BJP leader told ThePrint.

“The party has set a target of 150 seats, and to achieve it, it will change everyone who is not a reliable candidate in the eyes of the electorate,” he added.

As for the MLAs who don’t get tickets, the plan is to give them organisational roles in the party, although there is a possibility that some may join the Congress, the sources said, adding that the party’s central election committee would meet this week.

Previous instances

Changing sitting legislators has been a successful formula for the BJP, and this won’t be the first time it will happen in Gujarat. In 2012 too, the party had refused to give tickets to 68 MLAs – more than half its strength in the outgoing assembly.

Earlier this year, in Delhi’s municipal corporation polls, Shah took a decision to change all sitting councillors, and it bore fruit as BJP won despite criticism from all corners for its performance since 2012.

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