Apprehending internal bickering ahead of the assembly elections, newly-elected Lok Sabha member from Karnal Ashwini Kumar Chopra ‘Minna’ on Monday said the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) chief ministerial candidate should be announced after the results of the assembly elections are out. Addressing a press conference here, Chopra admitted that there were several leaders who aspire for the top post.
“But it would be very damaging for the party if the CM candidate is announced. Those eyeing the top seat may affect party’s electoral prospects if a CM candidate is announced. This is a reality and the BJP’s central leadership is aware of the situation,” he said.
Following the BJP’s performance in the parliamentary elections, several leaders were joining the party fold hoping to gain.
“At a recent meeting of MPs from different states, I had given my suggestion to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the party’s Haryana leadership should be directed to show their performance and the CM candidate should be named afterwards,” he said, adding that BJP leaders who have not even won any election are claiming to be contenders of the top post.
Chopra, who had defeated two-time Congress MP Arvind Sharma by over 3.6 lakh votes clarified that he was not in the race for the chief minister’s post.
In a scathing attack on the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government, Chopra said the Congress government had ignored northern Haryana and made false promises on development.
“Contrary to the claims of Sharma and the Hooda government, the Centre, in a reply to my question in Parliament, clarified that the project of domestic airport in Karnal is not cleared. Only a field survey has been conducted and the authorities are yet to submit a feasibility report and the former MP and state government claim that the project has been okayed," he said.
Chopra blamed ex-MP Sharma and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for playing petty caste politics ahead of the upcoming elections. Denying the charges that the BJP was a political front of the non-Jats, Chopra said while several of its frontline leaders were Jats others like Birender Singh were also joining the party.
“The BSP has announced to project ex-MP Arvind Sharma as Brahmin leader and as the CM candidate and it is unfortunate,” he said.
‘BJP no more ally of HJC’
The outspoken BJP leader said the political alliance with the Haryana Janhit Congress no longer exists.
“When the BJP is firm to contest from all 90 seats then where is the question of any alliance with the HJC or any other front,” asked Chopra, a known critic of HJC president Kuldeep Bishnoi.
He added that the party leaders must accept any candidate finalised by the central leadership to contest from any assembly segment.
MoU with Sulabh
Owner of a Hindi daily, Chopra said the head of Sulabh International had agreed to open 200 Sulabh toilets in Karnal parliamentary segment.
More such toilets would be opened and efforts would be made to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to start a national campaign on public toilets from Karnal, he added.
‘Make NH 1 toll-free’
Chopra said he would write to the Centre to make travelling on the NH-1 free as the private contractor had failed to complete the six-laning work of the Panipat-Jalandhar stretch.
“It is unfair to charge road users if the road project is delayed. I will take up this issue with the Centre,” he said.