Rajnath faces party members' ire in UP

Last Updated 21 March 2014, 19:23 IST

Despite every effort by the state leadership, the flames of dissension among BJP workers over the distribution of Lok Sabha tickets from Uttar Pradesh could not be doused. Angry saffron party workers even turned violent in some places and attacked their own party offices.

BJP national president Rajnath Singh, who hails from UP, finds himself on the firing line, with angry leaders holding him responsible for the “mess”. According to reports, party workers burnt Rajnath’s effigy at as many as 18 places in protest against the selection of LS nominees.

Former BJP MP and senior saffron leader Ram Vilas Vedanti publicly slammed Rajnath for what he alleged was “ignoring those who had been associated with the Ram temple movement” and favouring “outsiders”. 

Vedanti, who aspired for a ticket this time, was denied the same. He accused Rajnath of “conspiring” against him.

State BJP leaders said around a dozen seats in the state witnessed opposition from local workers. The party was facing protests for seats in Mathura, Allahabad, Gonda, Doomeryiaganj, Faizabad, Kaiserganj, Fatehpur Sikri, Deoria, Salempur and Amroha.

In Gonda, angry workers damaged their own party office and torched the furniture on Thursday evening.

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

Senior BJP leader Kesri Nath Tripathi, who was a strong contender for the ticket from Allahabad, threatened to oppose 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,” Tripathi said, adding, “My options are open. I will speak to my supporters and decide the future course of action.”

Former state BJP chief Surya Pratap Shahi had already expressed resentment over being denied nomination from the Deoria seat. 

Reports of protests by BJP workers against the official nominees poured in from several places. Sources said the party had formed teams of senior leaders and asked them to speak to local leaders and workers to rein them in.

(Published 21 March 2014, 19:23 IST)

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