Growing bickering in the BJP came to the fore again in a meeting of the schedule caste (SC) cell of the party on Monday with some leaders targeting new state BJP chief Vijay Sampla for “ignoring” other leaders from the community.
The meeting of the SC Morcha “core group” was held at the house of forest minister Chunni Lal Bhagat.
During the meeting, Bhagat and party’s chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) and Phagwara MLA Som Parkash alleged political interference by Sampla’s men in the constituencies represented by them.
“At the meeting, some leaders said under Sampla’s leadership, all communication with the Akalis at the government level was being done without taking the MLAs into confidence. Just two or three people working for Sampla in Chandigarh are doing communication with the government and even key leaders such as Bhagat are not consulted on important issues,” said a leader, who was present in the meeting, pleading anonymity.
Hoshiarpur MP Sampla has a house in Jalandhar West constituency and his camp’s increasing activities and interference in development works have continuously irked the Bhagat group.
In Phagwara, Sampla is in direct confrontation with Parkash as they are old political rivals. Both groups are already engaged in a war of words.
Sources said Parkash was unhappy over recent police appointments in Phagwara on the recommendation of the new state BJP chief. Parkash said such interference was intolerable for any MLA,” added sources.
Sources said it was also decided that Sampla will be given a list of certain leaders who will be “placated” with posts of chairmen and vice-chairmen in different boards and corporations.
Among others who attended the meeting were Bhoa MLA Seema Devi, national secretary of BJP SC Morcha Dharampal Rao, state SC cell president Dilbag Rai, Punjab SC commission chairman Rajesh Bagga, vice-president of the state SC wing Kewal Krishan and Punjab Cow Sewa Commission chairman Keemti Lal Bhagat.