When BJP Delhi unit chief Vijay Goel hosted a luncheon for party colleagues and the media at the Constitutional Club earlier this month, the turnout was impressive. BJP chief Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj were among the attendees, but conspicuous by their absence were the state leaders.
Among those who did not attend was Leader of the Opposition in Delhi Assembly V K Malhotra, two former BJP city presidents Vijender Gupta and Dr Harshvardhan, former Delhi state finance minister Jagdish Mukhi and Sahab Singh Chauhan, who is the party Chief Whip in the Assembly. Reportedly, none of them were invited. “Goel does not get along with many senior leaders of the BJP Delhi unit. Many of them, including Malhotra, Harshvardhan and Chauhan, have been vocal about not being invited by Goel. Moreover, it is well known that Malhotra, Harshvardhan, Mukhi and Gupta consider themselves as chief ministerial candidates and are in direct competition with Goel,” said a senior BJP leader.
The party’s problems do not end here. A number of senior leaders from the state do not see eye to eye, like for instance Malhotra and Mukhi. Reportedly, many BJP state leaders and MLAs did not take kindly to Malhotra being sent to state politics and being projected as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in the run-up to the 2008 Assembly polls.