Rifts triggered by regional concerns have emerged within the BJP. The party leadership is being criticised for not giving enough representation to Sikhs and Poorvanchalis in the list of candidates for the MCD elections.
Not one Sikh party activist was given a ticket by the BJP leadership to contest the elections. Poorvanchali candidates, who were expecting to be nominated for at least 30-40 seats, got just 20.
Awdhesh Singh, a Poorvanchali councillor and chairman of Shahdara North zone, was denied a ticket leading to a lot of heartburn.
“The number of Poorvanchalis in the city is high and we were expecting a bigger chunk,” said a Poorvanchali party worker. In the 2007 MCD elections, the party had given tickets to 25 poorvanchalis candidates and 10 were elected.
Several upset Sikh party workers went to meet the BJP’s national president, Nitin Gadkari, to register their protest.
According to party sources, Sikh workers were not given tickets because this section would be represented by the Siromani Akali Dal with which the BJP has an electoral alliance.
Sikh workers demonstrated outside the state office at Pandit Pant Marg.
“Party leaders say that they have given tickets to the Akalis. In that case why should Sikhs bother supporting the BJP. We should all just quit the party and join the Akalis instead,” said a leader.
Muslims seem to be the only content group as it secured seats ahead of the elections.