The delay in deciding the district president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has allowed workers to raise eyebrows.
Factionalism could be the reason of delay but for coordinating between different sections, the party high command should decide on the issue, a senior party leader said on the condition of anonymity. The party workers are surprised over long delay, which perhaps has happened for the first time. It is also projecting the BJP as a house divided.
The BJP has three legislators in Jalandhar and each has reservations about holding the post. Jalandhar (Central) legislator Manoranjan Kalia lobbied for councillor Ravi Mahindru, while former district president Shiv Dyal Chugh is the favourite of Jalandhar (North) legislator and chief parliamentary secretary KD Bhandari. The Jalandhar (West) legislator, minister of local bodies Bhagat Chunni Lal, had acted a silent player, so far.
In the elections on November 22, 2012, Ravi Mahindru was declared president, but three days later, former president Chugh challenged the result, claiming that Mahindru had forged the proposer's signatures. He appealed to state observer Vinod Sharma, who on December 5, withdrew the Mahindru's election as district president. Mahindru approached central observer Thawar Chand Gehlot, seeking reversal of the decision.
Senior party leader Subhash Sood was asked be acting president of the district BJP, and he is since in charge. None of the leaders is ready to speak on the issue on record but everybody has questioned the state leadership's delaying the issue.
“This is not a big issue. If the party keep the previous election in consideration, then there are only two candidates: Chugh and Mahindru,” said a senior party leader. “Decide on the appeal of Mahindru quickly and declare the result. Otherwise, nominate the president to settle the matter and I don't think anybody will object.”