GUWAHATI, Nov 15 - Presidents of the ruling BJP�s booth, mandal and district unit committees in Assam will henceforth not be allowed to contest any elections.
This new rule has been introduced by the State unit of BJP to ensure that leaders holding responsible positions at those levels of the hierarchy concentrate exclusively on �core� organisational activities instead of seeking party tickets or candidature for themselves during elections.
Highly placed sources in the saffron party said this step is also expected to bring about a clear demarcation between organisational and electoral responsibilities for its leaders at the lower levels of the hierarchy.
�As our base has expanded at an exponential pace across Assam during recent years, the party felt that it needs leaders at the booth, mandal and district level who will devote themselves solely to work for strengthening and consolidating the organisation.�
�However, in a multi-party democracy, the attraction for public office is very strong. At times local leaders tend to use their position within the organisation to try and secure nomination for themselves during elections. We believe that it is prudent to discourage such practices. We need leaders who will devote all their time and effort for the party rather than seeking some sort of �reward� during election time,� a senior State BJP leader told The Assam Tribune.
He added that from now onwards the presidents of BJP�s booth committees, mandal committees and district committees in Assam will not be allowed to contest elections, including for Panchayati Raj institutions and urban local bodies.
�The new rule will, however, not be applicable for the person holding the post of State party president,� said the source.
It is noteworthy that the serving president of BJP�s Assam unit, Ranjeet Kumar Dass, is an MLA from Sorbhog constituency.
Another eligibility criterion for becoming president of the party�s committees at the block, mandal and district level is that such a leader must have served a minimum of five years as an �active member� of the BJP.
Active members work fulltime for the organisation, and they have to each enroll at least a minimum number of 25 �ordinary� cadres into the party. Besides, one is allowed to become an active member of BJP only after having served as an ordinary party member for a minimum of three years.
Meanwhile, the State BJP�s organisational polls are proceeding as per schedule.
�The election process has been completed in over 25,000 out of the 27,000 booth committees of the party in Assam, and the exercise for electing new committees at our 391 mandals are now in the final stage. Next, we will start the organisational polls for selection of new district party presidents and reconstitution of the district committees. By mid-December we will have a new State committee in place,� said a BJP leader.
There are 39 organisational districts of the BJP in Assam.
The leader added that as per BJP�s constitution it is mandatory to complete the organisational election process in 75 per cent of the committees at a particular tier before moving ahead with formation of committees at the next level in the hierarchy.
A new national committee of the BJP will take charge by the end of December. BJP president Amit Shah, who is also the Union Home Minister, is expected to relinquish his position in the organisation and a new national president of the party is likely to take over at that time.