Open Revolt In BJP After Release Of List

3 November 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Avtar Bhat

Jammu: Launching a banner of revolt against the Party, some sitting MLAs and aspiring candidates of BJP who were denied tickets for 2014 Assembly poll by Party High Command today warned to contest the elections against official candidates either as independents or as Congress and NPP candidates. The senior BJP leader from Udhampur, Pawan Gupta who was till last moment yesterday expecting to get Party mandate on denial of ticket openly revolted against the Party today saying that he will contest the elections as an independent candidate from Udhampur Assembly segment. Mr Gupta, who led a massive rally in Udhampur as a show of strength later told reporters that he will join the poll fray as an independent candidate as Party has totally ignored him and his services. Gupta said he is under constant pressure from his supporters and they ask him to resign from the party as Party High Command has ignored his dedicated service. At Jammu supporters of BJP senior leader, Yudhvir Sethi amid slogans shouting this morning barged into the BJP party office and protested against the denial of ticket to Sethi. The supporters of Sethi alleged that he was the deserving candidate for Jammu East Constituency and Party ignored him allegedly at the behest of sitting MLA, Ashok Khajuria. Shouting slogans, supporters of Sethi, staged protest inside the premises of BJP headquarters and demanded that he (Yudhvir Sethi) should be given the mandate from Jammu East. However Sethi when contacted said that being a dedicated soldier of the Party, he can't go against the party decision as their entire family is associated with Party for decades together. BJP sitting MLAs including Lal Chand (Bani Constituency), Durga Dass (Hiranagar Constituency), Jagdish Raj Sapolia, (MLA Basholi) and Bharat Bushan (MLA Raipur Damana) also expressed resentment after they were denied the mandate and decided to fight the Assembly polls against the Party candidates. Jagdish Raj Sapolia, while expressing his resentment against the Party decision said that he is under constant pressure from his supporters to contest elections on the ticket of Congress. 'The people in Basohli are opposed to thrusting any outsider on them and they are forcing me to join Congress and contest the elections on Congress ticket. However the final decision will be taken on November 5 after a meeting will be held with Panchs and Sarpanchs of his Constituency,' he added. Sapolia also rejected offer for MLC seat saying BJP leaders can't befool him on this account. 'Why will they offer MLC seat to me and why not to Lal Singh'? he asked? Similar were the views of Bharat Bushan, MLA Raipur Damana who said that he will contest the elections either as an independent candidate or join the National Panthers Party (NPP) as the BJP has given the mandate to an outsider. He said the final decision will be taken on November 5 in this regard. MLA Hiranagar, Durga Dass also held the series of meetings with his supporters today to decide the future course of action. While criticizing the Party decision, Dass wanted to know on what basis he was denied the ticket by the Party. He said he is under constant pressure from his supporters to contest the elections and final decision will be taken within days. MLA Reasi, Baldev Raj Sharma however said that he has not taken any decision as yet and the final decision will be taken after consulting his supporters. However when contacted BJP incharge for J&K Avinash Rai Khanna told Excelsior it is a temporary phase and Party will not worry for it. It may be recalled that the BJP High Command yesterday announced list of 45 candidates skipping sitting seven MLAs including those who were involved in 2008 cross-voting in MLC elections of Jammu and Kashmir.