Popular Haryanvi singer Sapna Chaudhary, who joined the BJP recently, campaigned for a rival candidate Gopal Kanda in Haryana Assembly elections, leaving her party red-faced.
In a quick firefighting exercise, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari dissuaded her from campaigning for Kanda, the Haryana Lokhit Party candidate from Sirsa, BJP sources said.
Kanda, a former minister, is an influential politician in Haryana. His name had figured in the case of suicide by a woman employee of his airlines company.
The sources said Chaudhary informed party leaders that she was advised by her staff that she can campaign for Kanda as he "was an independent candidate".
A video message of Chaudhary seeking support for Kanda in Haryana election went viral on social media, catching the attention of BJP leaders on Friday. There were also posters of Chaudhary in favour of Kanda, said a senior Delhi BJP leader.
A section of Delhi BJP leaders expressed shock and demanded that Chaudhary be punished for "anti-party activity".
"How can she campaign for a candidate against the official BJP candidate when she herself is a party member," said a leader.
BJP has fielded Pradip Ratusaria from Sirsa where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally on Saturday, the last day of campaigning for the October 21 polls.
Chaudhary joined the BJP with much fanfare at Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium during the party's nationwide membership campaign in July, in the presence of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and BJP vice-president Shivraj Singh Chouhan, BJP general secretary Ram Lal and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari
The sources said Chaudhary, who is an artiste and performer, claimed she was advised by her staff that she can campaign for Kanda.
"When party leaders asked her about why she decided to campaign for Kanda, she claimed she was advised that she can do so as Kanda was an independent candidate," said a Delhi BJP leader.
However, she was asked by party leaders not to do so and immediately dissociate herself from any type of campaigning for Kanda.
She was also scheduled to participate in a roadshow in support of Kanda, he said. PTI VIT NIT RT RT