First list of candidates gives BJP a headache; dissenting members stage open rebellion

By Faisal Fareed,

The UP elections are almost upon us; every party is busy releasing its list of candidates. However, given the fierce contest within parties over who gets a ticket, this is also turning out to be a season of discontent among party leaders. The anger, and resentment, at being denied a ticket is becoming a common public spectacle; and the worst, or the best, views are emerging from the BJP, which has so far declared 149 candidates and rewarded 24 turncoats.

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In the past 24 hours, the BJP has witnessed large-scale protests across the state from ticket aspirants to party leaders.

Rakesh Dubey, a BJP leader from Shahjahanpur reached BJP’s state office in Lucknow with his supporters and a can of kerosene threatening immolation because he was angry over a ticket to Manvendra Singh from Dadraul. Dubey claimed that Manvendra was a turncoat and has been rewarded for the same. Fearing the worst, party leaders met him and heard his grievances.

The story was no different in Agra. The BJP MP from Fatehpur Sikri, Babulal, is against the party’s MLA candidate from Baah, Rani Pakshalika Singh, who joined BJP along with her husband Raja Aridaman Singh and was rewarded within 24 hours. Babulal claimed that he will not campaign for Rani.

In Bareilly, the most resentment has been saved for four of the nine candidates. After the candidates were announced, many people are reported to have left the party and former district unit president of BJP Rajkumar Sharma is allegedly at the helm, supporting the dissidents. Local leaders like Subhash Patel and Poonam Sen have also resigned. Also, Swami Pravaktanand has announced to contest as independent after being denied ticket from Barkhera in Pilibhit.

In Meerut, local BJP workers protested against candidate Avtar Singh Bhadana from Meerapur on grounds that he is from Haryana. Another candidate, former MLA Gopal Kali, has called for a panchayat on 21 January after being denied ticket from Hastinapur.