'Shoe striker' BJP MP gets the boot

Sitting BJP MP from Sant Kabir Nagar Lok Sabha constituency Sharad Tripathi, who hit the headlines after he thrashed party legislator Rakesh Baghel with shoes in the midst of an official meeting last month, was denied renomination apparently under pressure from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. 

Tripathi, who was said to be angry over exclusion of his name from the foundation stone of some projects in the district, had repeatedly hit Baghel, a close confidante of Adityanath, with shoe as a senior UP minister, police and other officials watched in shock and dismay.

The BJP was in a fix over renominating Tripathi as Baghel, who hails from the influential 'Thakur' community, had threatened to oppose the MP. 

The saffron party also did not want to annoy the 'Brahmin' community by dropping Tripathi. 

The BJP, however, made an effort to wriggle out of the dilemma by nominating Tripathi's father Ramapati Ram Tripathi, former UP BJP president, from the neighbouring Deoria Lok Sabha seat in an apparent bid to mollify the MP.

Sources said that Adityanath was not in favour of renominating Tripathi.

Tripathi was, however, said to be "very upset" over denial of ticket and has convened a meeting of his supporters to chalk out his future strategy, sources said.

The saffron party has also dropped sitting MPs from Pratapgarh, Ambedker Nagar and Bhadohi. Sangam Lal Gupta has been fielded from Pratapgarh while Ramesh Bind has got ticket from Bhadohi Lok Sabha seat. UP minister Mukut Bihari Verma has been nominated from Ambedker Nagar.

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