Resignations and protests have dogged the BJP since it declared the poll list on Wednesday but the dissension has now taken a more disastrous turn for the party with some turning to its rival the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and some eyeing the Congress.
Savita Gupta, a councillor from Amar Colony and former mayor of south Delhi has resigned from BJP’s primary membership and has joined AAP.
However, she said the decision was not taken to get a ticket from the party but because she was upset with the way tickets have been distributed in the BJP. “Tickets have simply been traded. Senior leaders have simply given it to their close aides,” she said.
AAP spokesperson Manish Sisodia confirmed the move and said many more would be joining the BJP. “A number of BJP workers and leaders upset with the dynasty politics and the way tickets have been distributed have approached us. Some like Gupta are joining while others are supporting us indirectly,” he said.
Also overlooked by the BJP, four-time MLA from Hari Nagar, Harsharan Singh Balli, also quit from the BJP’s primary membership. His seat has been allocated to Akali Dal by the BJP to ensure their alliance remains intact.
“I’ve not left the party, the party has left me. If I’m fielded by the Congress I’ll surely win the seat,” said Balli, whose resignation has not been accepted by the party.
A protest by supporters of Imran Ismail, who was denied a ticket from Ballimaran, turned ugly after they blocked the path of state president Vijay Goel’s car.
North Delhi Mayor Azad Singh tendered his resignation from the post on Thursday after being denied a ticket. “I’ve resigned from the post after being forced to do so. If the need arises, I’ll resign from the party too,” said Azad.
Many party workers were also unhappy with tickets being given to sons of senior leaders and protested in front of the house of senior BJP leader V.K. Malhotra whose son Ajay Malhotra will contest from Greater Kailash.
Protests also continued outside the residence of the party’s Delhi poll in-charge Nitin Gadkari.
Party sources said the protests would continue till the date of nominations as changes in the names can be made till then. “Resignations and protests are a tool to create pressure. Party will be able to pacify all those who are angry. However, considering the Congress, BSP and parties yet to announce the name of candidates it may prove to be detrimental for the party,” said a senior leader.
But with eight seats still up for grabs the party might be able to placate some noise-makers.