Sitting BJP Lawmakers In Rajasthan Fear Party May Drop Them

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The current 200-member Rajasthan Assembly has 163 BJP MLAs

Jaipur:

After the BJP denied tickets to several sitting MLAs in the first list of candidates for the Chhattisgarh assembly polls, party legislators in Rajasthan are keeping their fingers crossed.

No list is out yet in Rajasthan, where assembly elections will be held after the polling in Chhattisgarh, but party leaders say there is apprehension among its MLAs over failing to secure a renomination.

This comes amid speculation that about 80 BJP MLAs in Rajasthan will be denied the ticket this time as the party fights anti-incumbency and faces a stiffer challenge from the Congress in the December 7 elections, as indicated by some opinion polls.

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The current 200-member Assembly has 163 BJP MLAs.

Party leaders said some sitting MLAs are trying to seek tickets for their family members after their poor performance in the bypolls for the parliamentary seats of Ajmer and Alwar and the Mandalgarh assembly seat.

Several party MLAs have indicated to the state leadership that want to change their constituency this time.

But the party may not allow this.

"Let the list of candidates be announced," BJP's Rajasthan election in-charge Prakash Javadekar recently told reporters. "We might replace candidates but the candidates will not be allowed to change seats."

In the run-up to the elections, party leaders including Mr Javadekar, BJP state in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna and state BJP president Madan Lal Saini have also made clear that winnability would be the key criterion for picking candidates.

Party leaders said they are working on how to deal with possible protests by MLAs who are denied tickets and their supporters.

They said the dropped MLAs may be offered other roles in the party.

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