Lok Sabha elections: BJP’s big change in Delhi: 4 sitting MPs dropped, fresh entrants in fray

In the first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP announced a major rejig in Delhi. Four sitting MPs– Parvesh Verma, Ramesh Bidhuri, Meenakshi Lekhi, and Harsh Vardhan– have been dropped by the party. The party has fielded several new faces in the upcoming polls.

Bansuri Swaraj, daughter of former Union minister Sushma Swaraj, will contest from New Delhi constituency. Bansuri is the youngest of five candidates from Delhi announced by the party on Saturday.

Of the five names who have made it to the BJP’s first list from Delhi, Manoj Tiwari from Northeast Delhi is the only MP who has been given a candidature again. He fought his first Lok Sabha election as a Samajwadi Party candidate from Gorakhpur against present Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in 2009. He won the North East Delhi seat in 2019, defeating former Delhi chief minister and Congress candidate Sheila Dikshit by a huge margin. A father of three daughters, and a two-time sitting MP, Tiwari took his Master’s degree in physical education from Banaras Hindu University.

Here’s an analysis of the BJP’s candidate rejig in Delhi:

Anti-incumbency against sitting MPs

Multiple factors might have fuelled such a rejig. Firstly, the performance of the sitting MPs is noteworthy. Verma, Bidhuri, Lekhi, and Harsh Vardhan have all served as MPs for a decade from their respective constituencies, potentially triggering an anti-incumbency sentiment among voters.

Assembly election 2025 and the AAP challenge

Secondly, the impending state assembly elections in Delhi, scheduled for early next year, could be another catalyst. The sidelined leaders might be tasked with new roles to counter Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party.

Controversial statements give bad name to party

Thirdly, some MPs, specifically Ramesh Bidhuri and Parvesh Verma, have been embroiled in multiple controversies due to their contentious statements.

New faces for fresh battle

Rejuvenating the party roster with fresh faces and fostering gender equality by introducing female candidates could be another motive. For instance, Bansuri Swaraj, who has been given a ticket from the high-profile New Delhi constituency, is the daughter of late Sushama Swaraj. Kamaljeet Sehrawat is another woman candidate fielded by the party from the West Delhi Lok Sabha seat.

Establishing a caste and regional balance

Lastly, the candidate selection also revealed efforts to maintain a caste balance within the party. Ramveer Singh Bidhuri is from the Gurjar community, while Kamaljeet Sehrawat is from the Jat community. Praveen Khandelwal, a candidate from Chandni Chowk known for championing traders’ rights, comes from the Baniya community. The youngest candidate, 39-year-old Bansuri Swaraj, is a Punjabi Brahmin, while Manoj Tiwari is a Poorvanchali Brahmin.

Published By:

Srishti Jha

Published On:

Mar 3, 2024

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