BJP's first-timers gear up for challenge | india | Hindustan Times
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BJP's first-timers gear up for challenge

india Updated: Jan 04, 2012 13:00 IST
Aseem Bassi & Vinay Dhingra

Opposing the candidature of Seema Devi from the Bhoa (reserved) assembly constituency, BJP leader Sham Lal has decided to contest as an Independent.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had announced 20 candidates for the Punjab elections on Monday night, including Seema Devi and five other new faces. The BJP is contesting from 23 seats.

Talking to HT, Sham Lal, a zila parishad member, said, "I have devoted many years to the BJP. Till the last moment, I was assured of the ticket. It was shocking to see the name of Seema Devi, a greenhorn."

"The party has ignored me and I will contest as an Independent," he added.

Seema Devi, sarpanch of Bharyal Lahri village, thanked the party high command for giving her the ticket.

"I have always been party loyalist and now I will try my best to win the seat," she added.

Former minister Master Mohan Lal, who lost the race for the Pathankot ticket to state BJP president Ashwani Sharma, said, "I will abide by the party decision and support Sharma if the party tells me to do so."

When asked why some fresh faces had been chosen over experienced leaders, Sharma said, "Young people should be given a chance. The veterans are helpful in running the unit in a better way."

Ruling out the anti-incumbency factor, he said, "The party is confident of victory and will target the Congress-led UPA over corruption."

On Sham Lal's rebellion, Sharma said, "I will talk to him. Differences crop up when tickets are allotted, but things settle down afterwards."

Meanwhile, another first-timer, Rakesh Gill, is elated at getting the party ticket from Amritsar West.

The two-time councillor said, "I have been active in the BJP for the past many years. The party has rewarded me. I am ready for the challenge."

From Dinanagar, Bishan Das Dhupad, preferred over sitting MLA Sita Ram Kashyap, is confident of not facing hiccups.

Talking to HT, he said, "I am assured of the support of BJP workers in the area."