Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union home minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh, who has been fielded from the Noida assembly constituency, said on Monday that his candidature should not be considered dynasty politics.
“It is not dynasty politics because I have worked with the party as an ordinary worker and served in different capacities, first in the youth wing and later in the main organisation. The party has named me from Noida because I have been working with it for the past 15 years with dedication. If a person does not work for the party as a worker and then gets a ticket, that is wrong,” he said while talking to reporters and addressing party workers at a meeting at Kailash Hospital in Sector 27. Dr Mahesh Sharma, Gautam Budh Nagar MP and Union minister of state for tourism and culture, was also present on the occasion.
The BJP had on January 22 named Singh for the Noida assembly seat in its second list for the assembly elections, which named candidates for 155 seats in the state.
Dozens of local party workers, including sitting BJP Noida MLA Vimla Batham and BJP’s Gautam Budh Nagar general secretary Sanjay Bali were among ticket hopefuls. Bali resigned from his party post on Monday, saying in an email that “BJP is no different as it does not give importance to workers and has become a party of a family. (sic)”
Singh said nobody is unhappy with his candidature and he has amicably resolved issues with Bali. However, when asked, Bali, who did not share the dias with Singh at the event, said, “I will not take back my resignation. They are talking to me. Let us see what happens.”
Singh had sought a ticket for Noida in the 2012 state elections and in the 2014 bypolls, but the party had chosen a local leader. This time, Singh wanted a seat either from Ghaziabad’s Sahibabad or Noida.
Addressing party workers, he said, “I did not choose Noida. It was the decision of my party. Now that my party has named me, it is the duty of all of us workers to work to win this and other assembly seats so that we can get 300 seats and form the government in the state. The other two parties (SP and BSP) who have ruled the state for the last 10 years will lose their existence in this election because people are fed up of their policies. These two parties have looted the state.”
He added that he has worked in Noida as a party worker and also lived in the city during his college days.
However, there is still resentment among BJP’s Noida leadership. Local leader Vikas Gupta, who was also seeking a ticket from Noida, also said he plans to quit the party.
“I will resign from BJP on Tuesday and have decided to fight the elections as an independent candidate from Noida. I am preparing for nomination on Tuesday,” said Gupta, who has been in BJP’s state organisation. He had already purchased nomination papers as he had hoped to get ticket from Noida assembly constituency.