Infighting in Delhi BJP as paratroopers dig in

Party workers seek dismissal of 'outsider' candidates

Ahead of the parliamentary elections, infighting surfaced in the BJP in Delhi over candidates seen as outsiders in the constituency from where they have been fielded by the party.

A section of BJP leaders opposed to the party high command’s decision of fielding Dalit leader Udit Raj from the North-West Delhi constituency. Some leaders have also opposed candidature of Pravesh Verma from the West Delhi Constituency and Ramesh Bidhuri from the South Delhi seat.

Some local party leaders staged a protest at the party headquarter on 11, Ashok Road against Raj on Tuesday. The party workers demanded removal of “parachute candidate” from the constituency.

“The North-West Delhi is the only reserved constituency in Delhi and there are many Dalit leaders in the BJP who can be fielded from there. There is no need to filed a candidate who is new to the party and the constituency,” a protester told reporters here. Raj, a former bureaucrat, has recently joined the party.

A group of workers, who claimed to be the supporters of former Party MLA S C L Gupta, staged a protest at party’s state unit office at 5, Pant Marg against party’s candidate and MLA from Tughlakabad Ramesh Bidhuri. The protesters demanded removal of Bidhuri. They were shouting slogans ‘Bidhuri ko hatao, South Delhi seat bacaho’ (Remove Bidhuri to save South Delhi seat). The protest was held on Tuesday around 4 pm.

Gupta, however, denied having any role in the protest.

“I have no idea who is protesting. I have not asked anyone to vouch for me. It is the party’s decision and I respect it,” he said.

Factionalism surfaced in West Delhi constituency also where a group of supporters of party MLA from Janakpuri area, Jagdish Mukhi, accused the party leaders for ignoring the Punjabi voters. A leader of Punjabi community, Prem Prakash Sharma, has openly criticised the party’s decision of fielding Jat candidate from West Delhi and accused Pravesh Verma, son of former Delhi chief minister Saheb Singh Verma, for lobbying against Mukhi during the last parliamentary elections which led to his defeat.

“The Punjabi community has completely disavowed the BJP candidate from West Delhi. Verma had played a major role in defeating Mukhi during last parliamentary election,” he said in a statement.

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