BJP grapples with dissension in UP

 Ramakant Yadav (Image courtesy Twitter/ @iarbimkp)

Battling to counter the 'mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) and repeat its past performance in Uttar Pradesh, BJP has been grappling with large scale dissension in the party over the selection of candidates in the state in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

Around a dozen sitting or former MPs, who were denied tickets this time, have either joined the rival camps or threatened to oppose the official nominees giving jitters to the saffron party.

The latest in the list of disgruntled BJP leaders was former MP Ramakant Yadav, who, after being denied ticket from Azamgarh LS seat, joined the Congress on Friday.

Ramakant, who commanded considerable influence among his 'Yadav' community, was likely to be nominated from either Ghazipur or Bhadohi LS seat by the Congress.

BJP sitting MP from Etawah LS seat Ashok Dohare had also joined the Congress after being dropped. The grand old party has fielded him from the same seat.

Irked over denial of a renomination, BJP sitting MP from Hardoi LS seat Anshul Verma had also resigned from the party and joined the rival Samajwadi Party (SP). 

In an apparent display of his resentment, Verma handed over his resignation letter to the 'chwokidar' at the BJP headquarters here, to register his protest against the 'Main Bhi Chowkidar' campaign by prime minister Narendra Modi.

At least two other sitting MPs-Priyanka Rawat from Barabanki and Bhairo Prasad Mishra from Banda-have publicly slammed the party leadership for denying them renomination and threatened to oppose the official candidates.

Sitting BJP MP Chaudhary Babulal, who was denied ticket from Fatehpur Sikri seat, has also reportedly turned against the official party candidate.

Besides the selection of the candidates has also been a cause of friction within the party in the state. According to the sources around half a  dozen nominees were facing opposition from the local cadre. 

The apprehension of resentment has forced a delay in declaration of candidates from several seats, including the important Gorakhpur constituency, the home town of chief minister Yogi Adityanath. 

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