BJP releases 2nd Lok Sabha poll nominees list; 6 ex-CMs fielded so far

Former chief ministers Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana), Trivendra Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand) and Basavaraj Bommai (Karnataka) were named as the candidates in the second list

BJP’s second list of Lok Sabha candidates was announced on Wednesday. (ANI)

In 2017, Venkaiah Naidu, the then vice president, lashed out at dynastic politics. Known for his love for acronyms and witticism, Naidu said that “dynasty is nasty”. Speaking at a book launch, he explained why dynasty and democracy cannot go together. “…it [dynasty] weakens our system.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have repeatedly dwelt on the pitfalls of dynastic politics, citing examples of regional parties and the Congress being reduced to family-run enterprises.

The BJP prides itself on being a cadre-based party, where ordinary workers stand a chance to reach the top. Modi has been cited as an example of an ordinary worker from a non-political family rising by the dint of his perseverance, organisational and administrative abilities. BJP leaders point out that chief ministers such as Bhupendra Patel (Gujarat), Manoj Yadav (Madhya Pradesh), and Bhajan Lal Sharma (Rajasthan) fall in the same category.

BJP’s opponents cock-a-snook at the party for obfuscating the prevalence of dynastic politics in its midst. They point out that BJP allies such as the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party, Lok Janshakti Party, and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) are also family controlled.

Speaking in Parliament, Modi explained how allowing members of the same family to be part of politics is not the same as one family controlling a party.

BJP’s second list of Lok Sabha candidates announced on Wednesday has a fair share of leaders from political families. Pankaja Munde, daughter of the late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, Banto Kataria, widow of late former lawmaker Rattan Lal Kataria, and CN Manjunath, son-in-law of JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda, are among those who featured on the list.

BJP leader KS Eshwarappa criticised the selection process, saying his son KE Kantesh was overlooked for a ticket from Haveri while former chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s son, BY Raghavendra, was nominated from Shimoga.

Disciplined force

The party has also so far nominated six former chief ministers as Lok Sabha candidates. In the first list, it announced the candidature of former chief ministers Sarbanand Sonowal (Assam) Shivaraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh), and Biplab Deb (Tripura). Former chief ministers Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana), Trivendra Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand) and Basavaraj Bommai (Karnataka) were named as the candidates in the second list.

Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Pralhad Patel, and Faggan Singh Kulaste as well as members of Parliament Ganesh Singh, Rakesh Singh, Riti Pathak, and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya were asked to contest Madhya Pradesh last year.

Senior leaders, particularly those active in national politics, have been upset over being asked to contest assembly polls without speaking openly about it. A BJP leader said the new organisational order means a relocation from the state to the Centre can no longer be read as promotion nor does going back to the state imply a demotion.

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