BJP Faces Backlash in Hoshiarpur Over Allegations of Nepotism in Lok Sabha Ticket Distribution

The BJP faces backlash in Punjab over nepotism allegations in candidate selection for Lok Sabha polls, as the party's choice of Som Parkash's wife sparks anger among supporters of former minister Vijay Sampla.

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BJP Faces Backlash in Hoshiarpur Over Allegations of Nepotism in Lok Sabha Ticket Distribution

BJP Faces Backlash in Hoshiarpur Over Allegations of Nepotism in Lok Sabha Ticket Distribution

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come under fire in Punjab's Hoshiarpur constituency over allegations of nepotism and dynastic politics in its selection of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The party's decision to field Anita Som Parkash, wife of sitting Hoshiarpur MP and Union Minister Som Parkash, has sparked anger among supporters of former Union minister Vijay Sampla.

Sampla, who won the Hoshiarpur seat for the BJP in 2014, was seen as a strong contender for the party ticket in 2024. His supporters have accused the BJP of practicing the very nepotism and dynastic politics it claims to oppose . They point to Sampla's efforts to bring the influential Ravidassia community into the BJP fold and his strong following in the constituency.

The rivalry between Sampla and Som Parkash is well-known in local political circles. With the BJP contesting the Lok Sabha polls on its own in Punjab for the first time since 1996, the party's state and central leadership now faces the challenge of pacifying Sampla's supporters to avoid any negative impact on its electoral prospects.

Anita Som Parkash, in a statement, thanked the BJP leadership for entrusting her with the responsibility of contesting from the reserved Hoshiarpur constituency. The BJP has also fielded former IAS officer Parampal Kaur Sidhu, who comes from an influential political family associated with the Akali Dal, from the Bathinda seat.

The BJP's 12th list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, released on April 17, includes nominees for seats in Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. The party has so far announced candidates for around 430 out of the total 543 parliamentary seats.

Why this matters: The allegations of nepotism against the BJP in Hoshiarpur highlight the challenges faced by political parties in candidate selection and the potential for internal dissent. The BJP's ability to manage this controversy and maintain unity among its local leaders and supporters could have implications for its electoral performance in Punjab.

Punjab BJP chief Ashwani Sharma, in a press conference, dismissed the allegations of nepotism, stating, "The party has chosen the best candidate for Hoshiarpur based on merit and winnability. We are confident that Anita Som Parkash will successfully carry forward the BJP's development agenda and serve the people of the constituency effectively." The BJP is set to face a tough battle in Punjab, with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress also vying for the state's 13 Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming elections.

Key Takeaways

  • BJP faces allegations of nepotism in Hoshiarpur candidate selection, replacing sitting MP.
  • Rival Vijay Sampla's supporters accuse BJP of dynastic politics it claims to oppose.
  • BJP fields former IAS officer Parampal Kaur Sidhu from Bathinda, also from political family.
  • BJP has announced candidates for around 430 out of 543 Lok Sabha seats so far.
  • BJP's ability to manage internal dissent in Punjab could impact its electoral performance.