NEW DELHI: In Haryana, the Bharatiya Janata Party is trying hard to keep its rebel leaders connected as almost 30 leaders have expressed their anger at not getting tickets for the Assembly polls. Some of the leaders have even opened a front against the party and are preparing to contest the state Assembly elections independently. The BJP is in a damage control mode in Haryana as the party is facing a serious revolt from within.
According to sources, as many as 30 BJP leaders, including seven incumbent legislators, three Union ministers, 10 first-timers and 10 turncoats, have opened the front against BJP and many of them are even working to contest the polls independently.
The BJP has already finalised all 90 Assembly tickets in Haryana and to win the target of over 75 seats, this time the party has denied ticket to 26 leaders, including seven incumbent legislators who had contested Assembly polls on BJP tickets in 2014.
Sources have confirmed that BJP leader Vipul Goyal is angry for not getting a ticket from Faridabad; Ram Ratan is angry for not getting a ticket from the Hodal seat; Nayanpal Rawat, who contested the 2014 Assembly polls on a BJP ticket from Prithla, is angry for not getting a ticket this time. Kehar Singh Rawat, the Indian National Lok Dal’s incumbent legislator from Hathin, had joined BJP expecting an Assembly ticket, but after failing to get the same, Rawat is planning to contest the Assembly polls independently.
As per sources, the other BJP leaders who have opened the front against the party due to denial of Assembly tickets include former BJP MLA Tekchand Sharma, Sharda Rathore, who left Congress in Ballabhgarh and joined BJP; MLA Rahish Khan is angry for not getting a ticket from Punhana; Tejpal Tanwar, a BJP incumbent who was denied a ticket from Sohna seat has publicly expressed his anger with the party’s leaders. In Pataudi, MLA Vimla Chaudhary is angry for not getting a ticket this time and even Santosh Yadav, theDeputy Speaker of Haryana Assembly, is angry for being deprived of a ticket from Atteli seat. Krishna Gehlawat and MLA Jasbir Deswal have also protested against the party for the same reason.
Besides the above leaders, Pala Ram Saini, former MLA Dinesh Kaushik, Sandeep Onkar, Shyam Singh Rana, Kulwant and Dayanand Sharma have also threatened the party of launching a revolt if ticket announcement is not retracted.
Not only local leaders and MLAs in Haryana, but several BJP parliamentarians and Union Ministers have also expressed their anger to party leaders.
A source in the BJP told The Sunday Guardian. “Union minister Rao Indrajeet Singh, who was seeking an Assembly ticket for his daughter Arti Rao, is angry for failing to get the same. Indrajeet Singh had written a letter to Haryana Chief Minister expressing his wish, but despite that he couldn’t secure a ticket for his daughter. A similar demand was made by Union Minister of State and former Army chief General V.K. Singh who was seeking ticket for his brother-in-law Aridaman Singh Billu from Sohna; Ramesh Kaushik, MP from Panipat, was seeking ticket for his son and Union Minister of State Krishan Pal Gurjar was seeking ticket for his son; however, the demand of these leaders were not heard by the party.”
Meanwhile, the Haryana BJP has already decided that the party will not make any changes in the candidates’ list and the names in the list are final.
“Soon after the announcement of the first list of candidates, a meeting was held in Delhi on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Narendra Tomar, Union Minister and election in-charge of Haryana. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, BJP state unit president Subhash Barala and state in-charge Anil Jain were also present in the meeting. There the leaders discussed the strategy on countering the growing anger among leaders,” the same source cited above said.
“The party has already made it clear that it will not back-track from its decision that has already been taken, and the party will adopt a strategy to keep every worker connected, including those are angry over ticket issues,” the above mentioned source said. Raman Malik, spokesperson of the BJP, told The Sunday Guardian: “Several leaders are angry due to not getting a ticket for the Assembly polls, but their grievances are being heard by the party and the party will resolve this issue internally.” “When leaders work on the ground for years, they seek some recognition from the party in return and when they feel that they are not getting their due, the leaders get angry. But a party like ours has provided appropriate forum for expressing grievances. I hope the party will listen to the demands of angry workers too,” Malik said.
While speaking to the media, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has already said that the party will take care of the interests of leaders who couldn’t make it to the candidates’ list.