Ticketed, BJP leaders on exit mode
By Express News Service - NEW DELHI
Published: 10th Nov 2013 07:57:55 AM
Tempers began to soar among BJP leaders in many areas of South and North Delhi soon after the party announced its list of 58 candidates on Wednesday. Anger and displeasure over denial of tickets were palpable as six leaders were already on their way to offices of rival parties for discussions, to contest against the party that had nurtured them all these years.
The most prominent among those who resigned from the party is three-time MLA Harsharan Singh Balli, who was denied ticket from Hari Nagar as the BJP agreed to allow Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) to field its candidate from the constituency as part of a seat-sharing arrangement. Balli has resigned from the post of MLA and also from the primary membership of the party. “I have sent my resignation to BJP Delhi unit chief Vijay Goel and also to the Vidhan Sabha secretary,” Balli said, adding that he had been sacrificed at the behest of a big leader. “I am in touch with many parties and could contest on behalf of any of them,” he added.
The BJP’s decision to part with Hari Nagar seat has surprised many because the party has been winning municipal and Assembly polls from there since 1977 with thumping majority. Balli has been winning since 1977; first he won civic polls and since 1993, he has been winning Assembly polls.
The second big blow the party received was in the form of resignation of Azad Singh, the mayor of North Delhi Municipal Corporation. Though he has not yet quit the party, his resignation from the post of mayor has been seen as an attempt to put pressure on the party.
Singh, a popular Jat leader from North Delhi, had sought ticket from Mundka over two years ago, and had started preparing to contest the polls. All eyes are now on the Mahapanchayat of Mundka to be held on Sunday in which the villagers will voice their opinion on Singh being denied a ticket. “A decision on future course would be taken in the Mahapanchayat,” Singh said.
South Delhi mayor Sarita Chaudhary too threatened to look for greener pastures a day after the BJP gave the party ticket from Mehrauli to Pravesh Verma, son of former Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma. Protests were witnessed outside the residence of party’s Delhi in-charge Nitin Gadkari and the office of Delhi state unit.
Former mayor Savita Gupta has resigned from the party; she had demanded ticket from Kasturba Nagar, which was given to Shikha Rai, known to be close to senior leader Sushma Swaraj. BJP’s headache has only increased as Gupta has joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). But she is not the only one; former East Delhi mayor Annapurna Mishra’s son Kapil is contesting on a AAP ticket. Other leaders who left the party include Ajeet Khatri who resigned along with all district and mandal members from Narela.
Though Goel has expressed confidence that leaders like Balli would be prevented from walking out, it remains to be seen whether he can actually walk the talk.