Party hoppers may spoil BJP party in UP

Party hoppers may spoil BJP party in UP

The biggest threat to the BJP’s political fortunes in Uttar Pradesh might come from within its own ranks.

The decisions of the BJP leadership to nominate party hoppers and ignore loyalists is continuing to draw fierce opposition from its senior leaders as well as grassroots workers. This dissension could affect the saffron party's chances in a crucial state, which has 80 Lok Sabha seats.

“Preference to party hoppers and ignoring old and loyal workers may adversely impact our electoral chances,” said a senior leader of the party here.

BJP's fourth list, released on Wednesday, only added to the quagmire as party workers and senior leaders voiced their resentment over the way the tickets had been distributed.

Senior leader Kesri Nath Tripathi, who was a strong contender for a ticket from Allahabad, spoke out against the official nominee Shyama Charan Gupta. “Gupta is not even a member of the BJP...I am shocked at his nomination...I do not know how he secured the ticket,” a visibly hurt Tripathi said. “My options are open...I will speak to my supporters and decide about the future course of action,” he added.

Former state BJP chief Surya Pratap Shahi had also expressed his disappointment for not being fielded from Deoria.

BJP workers staged a noisy demonstration outside the party’s office in Gonda against the nomination of Kirti Vardhan Singh, who recently joined the party after resigning from the Samajwadi Party (SP). Former Congress leader Jagadambika Pal, who joined the BJP on Thursday, was also given a ticket from Doomeriyaganj despite strong local opposition. Other party hoppers, who have been nominated included Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh from Kaiserganj and Babulal from Fatehpur Sikri.

BJP's earlier lists for UP have also triggered resentment in the cadre. In many places party workers burnt effigies of party chief Rajnath Singh, who has been targeted the most by party workers.

Sources said the party had formed teams of senior leaders and asked them to visit the districts and speak to local leaders and workers to rein them in.

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