BJP on Thursday asked the party leaders threatening to contest as independents, after the announcement of first list of candidates for Uttarakhand, to support official party nominees and help rid the state of “corrupt” Congress regime.
“We are asking them to put up a united front as we are fighting for a larger cause. We are fighting to rid the state of Congress and corruption. I hope they will see reason and withdraw in support of official party candidates,“ Pradesh BJP Spokesman Virendra Singh Bisht told PTI.
“We must take advantage of the situation instead of haggling for a seat. The situation is in our favour. People want to get rid of a corrupt regime. Support of former Congress heavyweights is also going to help us,” he said.
Bisht said the BJP will continue to dissuade party leaders who have threatened to contest as independents till the last date for withdrawal of nominations.
Unhappy over Congress turncoats being preferred over trusted party leaders who have stood by the organisation through thick and thin, several of them have threatened to throw their hat into the ring as independents, including Om Gopal Rawat from Narendranagar, Sureshchand Jain from Roorkee and Asha Nautiyal from Kedarnath.
Congress deserters have been fielded from all these constituencies by the BJP including Subodh Uniyal from Narendranagar, Pradip Batra from Roorkee and Shailarani Rawat from Kedarnath.
Apart from those who are miffed over Congress turncoats being preferred over loyal party cadres there are also those who are unhappy that they were denied tickets despite being strong contenders for a seat.
“They should understand that all contenders can’t be fielded from one seat. The choice is always difficult to make but the ticket has to go to only one of the contenders,” the state BJP spokesman said.
Disappointed over being denied tickets party leaders have been protesting in different places across the state including its central office in Dehradun.
In Kumaon region party cadres even burnt effigies of Pradesh BJP president Ajay Bhatt and Union Minister Ajay Tamta besides tearing Amit Shah’s posters in Dharchula in Pithoragarh district alleging partisan distribution of tickets.
However, the BJP spokesman said the anger was temporary and things will fall into place soon. When asked what will happen if the disgruntled cadres don’t listen to party leadership, Bisht said the party has an internal mechanism to deal sternly with such situations.