BJP poll panel fails to agree on Bihar candidates

Owing to in-house differences, BJP Central Election Committee today failed to arrive at a consensus on party candidates for coming Bihar assembly elections and decided to meet again tomorrow.

Updated: Sep 28, 2010, 00:14 AM IST

New Delhi: Owing to in-house differences,
BJP Central Election Committee today failed to arrive at a consensus on party candidates for coming Bihar assembly
elections and decided to meet again tomorrow.

"BJP CEC and state unit leaders from Bihar met today
under the chairmanship of party president Nitin Gadkari and
held a detailed discussion on ticket distribution and what the
strategy should be for the forthcoming elections," party
general secretary in-charge of Bihar Ananth Kumar said.

He said the issues to be highlighted during the BJP
election campaign and the strategy for the polls were
discussed.

"The CEC will meet again tomorrow and the list will be
issued. The discussion today was incomplete," Kumar said.

Asked if differences between senior leaders was the
reason behind the deferment, Kumar replied in the negative.

Senior party leaders from Bihar, including state unit
president C P Thakur, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, Radha Mohan Singh, Mangal Pandey, Ashwini Chaubey and central leaders from the state like Shahnawaz Hussain and Ravi Shankar Prasad are involved in finalising the list of probable candidates. All these leaders were present in today`s meeting.

Other leaders present at the meeting included Arun
Jaitley, who was earlier in-charge of Bihar, and present
co-incharge of the state Dharmendra Pradhan.

Some of these leaders do not see eye-to-eye with each
other on several issues and there are said to be major
differences between them on who should be fielded from which constituency.

However, Kumar said there was no controversy.

"We had a serious discussion. The central leadership was
apprised of the situation in the state. We will decide on the
candidates after reaching a consensus," he said.

BJP is likely to contest on 102 seats- the same as in
the previous poll in 2005- but it may swap some constituencies with ally JD-U as the demographic profile of some seats has changed due to delimitation.

Distribution of party tickets for Bihar is a ticklish
issue for BJP which is reportedly treading cautiously. In
2005, those who denied tickets had revolted openly and
indulged in vandalism, including breaking of flower-pots
and damaging of property, at the headquarters here.

This time, the party is not taking any chances and
ticket-seekers are being kept out of the headquarter compound.

On whether Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will
campaign during the polls, Kumar said the decision on
campaigners will be taken later but said the campaign
strategy was discussed at today`s meeting.

"We discussed the campaign strategy and what should be
its main focus. Restoration of law and order in the last five
years will be the main issue. Before this, there were 15 years of jungle raj under Lalu Prasad but under Nitish Kumar there has been suraj (good governance)," he said.

PTI