Dehradun: With polling in Uttarakhand assembly elections over, the infighting in the state unit of ruling BJP is now out in the open with Chief Minister BC Khanduri and his bete noir Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank rushing to Delhi to lobby with the party’s central leadership.
Party sources said Khanduri would put his views before the party high command as he was peeved over reports of alleged damage done to his poll campaign in Kotdwar seat where he faced stiff opposition from Congress in the January 30 polls.
Khanduri’s visit came days after former chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank too went to the national capital to apprise the high command about the intra-party squabbles.
A total of 160 BJP leaders and workers have been expelled during elections so far in Uttarakhand for anti-party activities.
Bishan Singh Chufal, state BJP President, had yesterday said that the party has taken cognisance of all anti-party activities and has asked the district party units to submit reports in order to take further action.
Nishank, who is contesting from Doiwala seat, had alleged that his campaign was marred by anti-party activities. Nishank went to New Delhi to apprise top leadership about the infighting during elections, including airing of certain damaging reports by a local TV news channel.
Both the ruling BJP and Congress in Uttarakhand have expelled rebel leaders during assembly elections. The two parties have had their share of post-ticket distribution revolts in over 20 seats each out of the total 70 constituencies.
The BJP had also expelled its four sitting MLAs ?” Kedar Singh Fonia, Raj Kumar, GL Shah and Anil Nautiyal.
The ruling party, which fielded nearly 36 new faces, faced a political storm this time by axing nearly 12 of the total 36 sitting MLAs from the poll race in the face of the anti-incumbency. These also include two cabinet ministers ?” Khajan Das and Govind Singh Bist, who appeared to have now fallen in line after showing discontent initially.
The saffron party faced severe crisis in Chamoli district where all the three seats were contested by rebel candidates giving the ruling party much headache. From Badrinath, former minister Fonia fought election as rebel candidate.
Similarly, on other two seats ?” Tharali and Karanprayag, party rebels ?” GL Shah and Anil Nautiyal, both Nishank loyalists, created problem for the ruling party.