Factionalism in BJP comes to the fore; city BJP chief conspicuous by absence

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 03, 2015 11:10 IST

Factionalism in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to the fore on Friday when the candidates filed the nominations for the mayoral elections to be held on January 6.

City BJP chief Sanjay Tandon failed to reach the venue, whereas other leaders came in groups to support their candidates.

Friday was last day for filing the nominations and both the Congress and the BJP candidates filed their nominations before MC secretary Rajeev Gupta at the MC office in Sector 17.

Later in the evening, a press release from the BJP office said Tandon had gone to Delhi for some urgent work and would not be able to be present for the filing of the nomination papers.

Former union minister Harmohan Dhawan came to support Heera Negi, who is contesting for the mayor’s post.

Even former MP Satya Pal Jain came to support Davesh Moudgil, who is contesting for the post of deputy mayor.

Surprisingly, Arun Sood, leader of the opposition in the House and close aide of Sanjay Tandon, reached the venue late.

SAD’s only councillor Harjinder Kaur was not present on the occasion.

Tandon had backed Asha Jaswal for the mayoral seat, but Heera Negi, who had the support of party MP Kirron Kher, was selected as the candidate.

The party, which hopes to sweep the polls this year, was divided on the two names and factions had emerged on the issue.

Sources claimed that at present, there were four groups in the city BJP unit - one backed by party president Sanjay Tandon, another by former MP Satya Pal Jain, the third by former union minister Harmohan Dhawan, and the fourth comprising Kher’s supporters.

Earlier, Congress candidates, including Poonam Sharma who is contesting for the mayor’s post, Satish Kainth for the post of senior deputy mayor and Gurbax Rawat for the post of deputy mayor, filed their nominations. They were accompanied by former railway minister Pawan Bansal, Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee chief BB Bahl and all party councillors.

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