Protest at Rajnath house over LS ticket from Bijnor

BJP workers staged a protest outside the official residence of BJP National President Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Monday after the party changed its Lok Sabha poll candidate from Bijnor in UP. 

While Rajnath Singh was welcoming people into the saffron party, Rajendra Singh, the candidate who was shunted out on Saturday at the last moment, was seen with his supporters outside the BJP chief’s house, shouting slogans and demanding a party ticket for him.

Talking to reporters later, Rajendra Singh said he was hurt by the decision. “We are not protesting; we came here to take our message to the BJP president. We will do as the high command says,” he said.

The BJP on Saturday instead gave a ticket to Bhartendu Singh. The announcement was made on the last day for filing nominations. The decision was taken following demands from local party workers.

Actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada, who joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal and is an MP from Rampur, is also contesting from Bijnor.

Beeline for joining BJP 

Congress leader Narinder Thakur, son of late BJP stalwart Jagdev Chand, Monday rejoined the Bharatiya Janata Party. 

“I feel it’s the right time to return to the party that my father served throughout his life,” Narinder Thakur said at a function in Hamirpur, 150 km from Shimla.

Thakur contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections on a Congress ticket from Hamirpur and lost to BJP’s Anurag Thakur.

Former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal was present at the function, party spokesman Ganesh Dutt said. 

Thakur’s return to BJP is seen as a major embarrassment for Congress as Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had announced that he would be in charge of the party’s campaign in Hamirpur.

Congress has pitted Rajinder Rana, another BJP rebel, against BJP’s two-time MP Anurag Thakur. 

The Aam Aadmi Party fielded Kamal Kanta Batra, mother of Capt Vikram Batra, who died in the 1999 Kargil war, from Hamirpur constituency, home to a large number of military personnel and ex-servicemen.

Congress won the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat only once in the past 25 years.Farmer leader joins party

In New Delhi, president of the Bharatiya Krishak Samaj (BKS) Krishna Vir Chaudhary along with his supporters on Monday joined BJP in presence of its President Rajnath Singh, reports New Delhi PTI from March 24. 

Besides Singh, a retired IAS officer from Uttar Pradesh, V P Neelratna also joined the party in the presence of the BJP chief. 

Talking to reporters, the BKS leader expressed the hope that Narendra Modi would protect the interest of the farmers who are facing crisis due to the “wrong policies” of the Congress-led government. “BJP is working in the interest of farmers. I joined BJP as I am certain that the party would protect the interest of the farmers,” he said.

Asked whether he would seek BJP ticket to contest Lok Sabha polls, he said, “I have not come for the ticket. I joined BJP to protect the interest of the farmers.”

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