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Infighting, discontent major challenge for BJP in poll bound states

BJP central leadership and RSS have already intervened and tried to resolve differences in Uttar Pradesh

Sunday June 27, 2021 12:14 PM, Shashi Bhushan, IANS


New Delhi: Infighting and discontent in the poll bound state units are turning out to be a major concern for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) than the opposition parties.

Assembly elections are scheduled in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand early next year. Senior national party leaders are trying to resolve the differences within the party units in these states.

A senior leader said that this infighting and discontentment in local units especially in the poll bound Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Punjab need to be addressed at the earliest as it might affect party's poll prospects and preparations.

"Next year's polls in Uttar Pradesh and other states will set the momentum for the next general elections in 2024. Party's performance in Uttar Pradesh and other states is crucial for 2024 rerun. So everyone will be brought to the same page ahead of state assembly polls. Party is concerned and taking measures to address the infighting or differences in all the local units," he said.

BJP central leadership and RSS have already intervened and tried to resolve differences in Uttar Pradesh.

"On June 22, chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya met over lunch in presence of national general secretary, organisation, B.L. Santhosh and RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale and Krishna Gopal to resolve the differences," a party insider said.

In Goa, last month BJP chief J.P. Nadda had directed chief minister Pramod Sawant and health minister Vishwajit Rane to keep their differences aside and focus on controlling Covid in the state.

"Local Issues"

Another leader pointed out that local issues must be addressed so that everyone should put a united effort in fighting the opposition parties instead of fighting against each other.

Party leadership in Delhi also found that infighting and discontentment have spread in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tripura -- irrespective of whether the saffron party is in power or not.

Another senior party functionary explained:

"Infighting and differences among leadership and cadres need immediate attention of the central leadership and in some cases state units have already apprised them about it."

In Rajasthan, former chief minister Vasundhara Raje is not on the same page with the state leadership. While Raje's supporters are running a parallel organization by launching 'Vasundhara Raje Samarthak Manch, Rajasthan', on the other hand the state unit has removed her photo from poster and hoardings.

Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia told IANS:

"Central leadership has been apprised of what's happening in the state for appropriate action."

In Karnataka, despite state in-charge and national general secretary Arun Singh's repeated warning, voices were raised, albeit a few, in public against chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

"Mishandling of farmers' issue"

In Punjab, former minister Anil Joshi blamed BJP state leadership for mishandling of farmers' issue and said that the party would have to pay the price for the situation.

In Delhi, some spokespersons of the party were removed from the party WhatsApp group on the direction of state unit chief Adesh Gupta while one spokesperson left it saying his seniority was not taken care of.

On Gupta's direction Delhi BJP office secretary Hukum Singh ordered removal of spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga and Neha Shalini Dua from the party's WhatsApp group. While Harish khurana, son of former Delhi chief minister Madan Lal Khurana, left the group saying his seniority has been ignored.

Some of the spokespersons in Delhi BJP Unit have been recently appointed office bearers in the national team of party's different morchas. Sources said that while state leadership asked them to resign, they are not willing to quit the post.

"BJP's Kerala dilemma"

In Kerala, there is a lot of opposition against state unit chief K. Surendran after he was named in an FIR in an alleged poll bribery case. Allegations were denied by the Kerala BJP chief but many in the party believe that he should be replaced till the time his name is cleared.

Earlier this month, amid the speculation that some BJP MLAs and leaders in Tripura may follow the example of its former national vice president Mukul Roy who returned to the Trinamool Congress (TMC), three senior central leaders reached Agartala to meet state leaders.

A senior party leader, however, denied any fresh political development in the saffron camp in the northeastern state. B.L. Santhosh and others reached Agartala to discuss party affairs with the state leaders, legislators, ministers and other party functionaries.

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