05 Mar 2024  |   05:02am IST

BJP feels parivarvaad sting with Bansuri ticket; Maha muddle a worry

BJP feels parivarvaad sting with Bansuri ticket; Maha muddle a worry

Robin Roy

Even as BJP’s first list has been announced and as the dust is settling, the knives are out in the Opposition camp and the Saffron party has found itself at the receiving end from the Opposition after the party had announced the name of Bansuri Swaraj, daughter of former Union minister late Sushma Swaraj, as its New Delhi Lok Sabha candidate.

Without wasting time, the Opposition immediately upped the ante and accused the party of taking the “parivarvaad (dynastic politics)” route even as the party spends a lot of time attacking the Opposition for the same. However, to try and maintain an immediate ceasefire, the Saffron party said it was mainly due to the winnability factor for which Bansuri was rewarded.

Also, eyebrows were raised in the political circles and the Opposition questioned why the BJP’s did so over the sitting MP and Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi.

“The BJP has been making tall statements against parivarvaad. Today, if Sushma Swaraj ji’s daughter is being given a ticket, it is a living example of parivarvaad. We too have high regard for Sushma ji but are other parties, which are giving tickets to the kin of leaders who are no more, not eligible for such respect? This shows that there is a huge gap between what the BJP says and does,” said AAP senior leader Bharadwaj.

The Congress in its criticism asked, “Why is Bansuri Swaraj given a ticket from Delhi? What is her contribution other than Parivarvaad @narendramodi! Don’t point fingers at us!” party spokesperson Shama Mohamed said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Bansuri was appointed as the co-convener of the Delhi BJP’s legal cell in March last year and was later elevated to the post of secretary. The junior Swaraj had also served as a part of the Women20 special engagement group during a G20 Summit.

Bansuri’s chances were bright as the New Delhi seat – which has 10 Assembly segments under it – includes parts of the former South Delhi Lok Sabha seat, from where her deceased mother Sushma Swaraj was first elected in 1996 and then in 1998 and it is during that time that Sushma had also served as the first woman chief minister of Delhi.

Sushma Swaraj who had also served as I&B minister in the Atal government (for the 13-day regime), had done extensive work for the party’s organisation there.

However, a senior BJP leader blasted the Opposition, claiming that five (of seven) candidates declared in Delhi are party karyakartas “who have proved their mettle for this responsibility and have enough popularity on the Ground Zero”. “What could the national leadership have done after not even a single person in the 28-member organisation of the New Delhi seat voiced their support for Lekhi but unanimously supported Bansuri?” the leader asked.

The leadership was also of the opinion that being the daughter of a party stalwart should not belittle the fact that Bansuri has been able to garner immense popularity “through sheer hard work in just over a year”.


Meanwhile, a quick and in-depth look at the first list of 195 candidates would reveal that the Saffron Might is handling Maharashtra carefully and trekking cautiously as the party has not named a single candidate from the state and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit on Tuesday to Maharashtra is being watched closely by political analysts. It is felt that Shah’s visit will try to soothe the reported bickering especially in the North Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Marathwada regions.

All doesn’t seem to be rosy and in politics of coalition it isn’t a cakewalk on most occasions.


Shah’s crucial visit has been planned days after the BJP released its first list in which no candidate from Maharashtra was named.

Shah is expected to hold strategic and pre-poll meetings in Akola (Vidarbha), a public rally in Sambhajinagar (Marathwada) and address a youth conclave in Jalgaon (North Maharashtra).

Even as BJP has said that Shah’s visit will be to launch the party’s campaign for the Lok Sabha polls, it is also felt that Shah will be here to douse the undercurrent of differences among the coalition and apply balm to the miffed ones.

Political analysts are of the opinion that Shah must resolve these issues before the next list is out. Shah will hold meetings in Akola of Vidarbha region where key constituencies like Buldhana, Amravati, Chandrapur, Wardha and Akola will be under scanner. Reportedly, there are differences with the allies or the hopefuls for tickets here.

To start with, the BJP has issues in Chandrapur where the party is planning to field state minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, from the Komti (OBC) community, but some party leaders want a candidate from the Kunbi community which they feel will have a better prospect.

The Amravati seat has been a matter of concern for BJP and Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde) and the NCP (Ajit Pawar faction). This seat is currently held by Independent MP Navneet Rana and even as Rana has been reportedly willing to fight on a BJP ticket, the candidate faces a case regarding “using fraudulent means” to obtain a Scheduled Caste (SC) certificate and the case is pending in the Supreme Court. Also, what is worrying is that the Shinde Sena has also expressed its keenness on contesting this seat. To add to BJP’s woes, the Shinde Sena also wants to contest from Buldhana.

Vidarbha with ten seats – Nagpur, Bhandara-Gondia, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Wardha, Ramtek, Buldhana, Yavatmal-Washim, Wardha and Akola – is seen as important for the BJP, which has set an ambitious target for the NDA to win 45 of the state’s 48 Lok Sabha seats.

The region of North Maharashtra comprising Lok Sabha seats of Jalgaon, Raver, Dindori, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, Shirdi and Ahmednagar has been a turning pitch ever since the  Republican Party of India (Athawale), has expressed his willingness with Shirdi, an SC-reserved constituency. In 2019, the NDA had swept the region with the BJP winning six and the Sena winning two seats.

In the Konkan region, while the Shinde Sena and the BJP are eyeing the Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri seat, Union minister Narayan Rane has staked claim to it. “Lok Sabha elections will be announced soon. Many leaders from various parties are staking claim to the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha seat. Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha seat belongs to BJP, and only we will contest this seat,” he said on X.

Also, both the Shinde Sena and the BJP are eyeing the Sambhajinagar seat.

In Western Maharashtra too, the BJP and the Ajit Pawar-led NCP have issues with the Shirur constituency, currently represented by A. Kolhe, who has sided with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP faction.

Even as the Maratha quota issue has dominated the Marathwada region.

In 2019, AIMIM’s Imtiaz Jaleel had won from here by defeating senior Sena leader Chandrakant Khaire, who had sided with Shiv Sena (Uddhav).

However, indications are that the Shinde Sena has been insisting on contesting the seat while the BJP too feels it has better prospects in the seat.

(The writer is a senior journalist and former senior Associate Editor, O Heraldo, Goa)


Iddhar Udhar