BJP downplays resentment over tickets

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Bhopal, Nov 3 (UNI) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today downplayed resentment among a section of workers over distribution of tickets for assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring Chhattisgarh, dismissing it as a clamour for tickets.

''Resentment over ticket distribution is negligible as information pouring in from districts indicates that not a single sitting MLA has thus far become a rebel candidate after not being renominated,'' BJP Secretary Prabhat Jha told UNI here.

''Out of 217 nominees declared so far -- with 13 left to be announced for the 230-seat contest in the November 27 poll -- protests were reported for one or two seats only,'' he said, while adding 98 per cent tickets were allotted as per the wishes of party workers and the electorate. Candidates were selected on the basis of feedback at different levels.

Mr Jha, who prefers calling himself a disciple of BJP veteran late Kushabhau Thakre, said that the party leaders were not complacent and it was satisfying that there was no anti-incumbency factor against BJP governments led by Mr Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Dr Raman Singh in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh respectively.

''The third generation of workers is in the race for tickets while second generation leaders are managing party affairs in the absence of veterans of the stature of Kushabhau Thakre. Mr Pyarelal Khandelwal is unwell,'' he added.

As part of election strategy, the BJP decided not to renominate about 54 sitting legislators -- including a minister -- while constituencies of several ministers were changed, Mr Jha pointed out, adding that delimitation had come as a blessing in disguise to ward off people's unhappiness against a few ministers.

Another major factor is fielding of about half a dozen members of Parliament as candidates.

UNI SP AC RL RN1759

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