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BJP likely to declare all its 5 Lok Sabha candidates soon in U’khand

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 23 Feb: Highly placed sources in BJP have claimed that the party is likely to declare its candidates for all the 5 Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttarakhand soon. They have claimed that while the Election Commission of India may declare the Parliamentary elections anytime after 13 March, the party is determined to finalise its candidates at the earliest and more likely even before the declaration of the elections in order to take an early lead over political rivals in campaigning.

It may be recalled that BJP has been winning all the 5 Lok Sabha constituencies during the past two parliamentary elections and appears determined not to lose even one seat out of five from Uttarakhand and therefore has started the preparations for the elections in right earnest already. In order to take feedback about the present MPs and possible candidates, the party has already deployed two observers for every Lok Sabha seat. The observers will contact the ticket claimants and submit their report to the State Parliamentary Board. The meeting of the party state parliamentary board has been fixed for 26 February to prepare a panel of possible candidates which will be submitted to the Party High Command to take the final call on the candidates from Uttarakhand.

It may be noted here that BJP’s National Parliamentary Board finalises the candidates. The meeting is chaired by BJP’s National President in the presence of the Prime Minister.

To do the ground work and seek preliminary feedback, BJP’s National General Secretary, Organisation, BL Santosh was here yesterday on a two day visit. During his stay here, Santosh held discussions in this regard with the Chief Minister, State President and party officials.

Party state president Mahendra Bhatt has stated that BJP’s National President JP Nadda is also likely to visit Haldwani and Uttarakhand on 28 February and hold meetings. Bhatt, who has recently been elected to Rajya Sabha from the state also claimed that there is tremendous enthusiasm among party workers regarding the elections.

Sources added that there is intense lobbying by senior party leaders to secure the party ticket and more than 5 ticket aspirants have submitted applications on each seat. Sources claimed that, on most seats, the State Parliamentary Board will finalise a panel of three candidates and send the panel to the Party High Command to take the final call.

Bhatt added that the process of submitting applications is continuing. All these applications will be handed over to the observers of the respective Lok Sabha seats. The team of observers will conduct regional tour and poll the names. These names will be handed over to the state party organisation to be presented in the meeting of the State Parliamentary Board likely to be held on 26 February, which will prepare a panel of three names and then send the panel to the central leadership.

BJP in Uttarakhand is expecting that polling on all the five Parliamentary constituencies in Uttarakhand will be held in a single phase in the first phase, itself, and therefore there is not much time left for the Model Code of Conduct to be brought in force here. The party is expecting announcement of election schedule for parliamentary polls any day after 13 March.

While all the sitting MPs are major ticket aspirants but there are other big names among those lobbying for the BJP ticket and they include some former ministers, MPs and several sitting and former MLAs.