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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Punjab BJP president's bid to reconcile warring Batala groups proves futile

Vishal Sally, Hindustan Times  Batala, February 15, 2014
First Published: 21:18 IST(15/2/2014) | Last Updated: 22:06 IST(15/2/2014)

BJP state president Kamal Sharma's attempt to reconcile two local factions of the party proved futile soon after his visit, when both the groups held separate press conferences in a show of strength.

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On February 8, BJP district youth president Vinay Mahajan had dismissed some of the office-bearers, who allegedly had proximity with BJP district president Suresh Bhatia. Annoyed over this, Bhatia had dissolved the party's district youth wing next day.

Kamal Sharma during his visit to the city tried to bring both the groups on a single platform. Led by Vinay Mahajan, 11 members of recently expired municipal council, along with three former district presidents, held a separate meeting with Kamal Sharma and accused Bhatia of 'dictatorship'.

They claimed that each of them was representing more than 3,000 persons of their wards but the district president was not ignoring them and also creating rift within the party. 

A day after the visit, 16 former councillors held a press conference in favour of Bhatia. They claimed that after becoming the district president, Bhatia was working hard for strengthening the party at booth level. They said under Bhatia's supervision, the party had achieved massive following, which was witnessed during the Madhopur rally.

Rejecting Bhatia's claims of having support of 16 former councillors, the other group led by BJP (city) mandal general secretary Ramesh Kholsa said the expired council had 20 BJP councillors of which one has died while the party had expelled three.

He further said out of these 16 members, Neelam Mahajan, Harbans Lal Mahajan, Raj Kumar Kali, Gurbinder Kaur, Ram Sharan Bhatia, Suresh Mahajan, Gurbash Singh Malhi, Suman Handa, Dharamveer Seth, Bhushan Mahajan and Kamlesh Seth had informed Kamal Sharma about Bhatia's dictatorial attitude.

He demanded cancellation of the suspension order of BJP mandal president Krishan Baldev Suri, who was suspended for allegedly using derogatory remarks against Bhatia five months back.

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