Even as the BJP took the lead in announcing its candidate from Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha seat, it has not started a proper campaign more a week has passed since.
The tussle between two powerful party factions is proving to be a big hindrance in the way of Vijay Sampla who is caught between proverbial devil and the deep sea situation. His loyalty to Rajya Sabha member Avinash Rai Khanna is well known but leaving nothing to chance, he also approached Khanna's bete noir Tikshan Sud, political adviser to Punjab chief minister, for assistance.
Sources reveal that Sud has agreed to work for him but with certain conditions about the opponent camp, leaving Sampla in a catch-22 situation.
The party had asked the two factions to set aside their differences and work in a united manner for Sampla after the initial show of resentment by Sud loyalist Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha activists against the candidate choice but things did not change much except that both Khanna and Sud shared dais during the visit of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and state BJP Kamal Sharma on Sunday.
Both the factions claim to have started a voter-contact programme but one does not know what the other is doing.
'Namo Brigade', a parallel team of youth owing allegiance to Khanna, is working independently under the supervision of his political secretary Sanjiv Talwar.
When HT visited the BJP election office on Thursday, it wore a deserted look. Three persons were present there— one of whom in deep sleep, but none knew anything about the campaign schedule. Election material has also not reached yet. District president Shiv Sood said they held several meetings in the city in the last couple of days.
"We have constituted various committees and assigned work to them. The campaign will gain momentum in the coming days," he claimed.
SAD, it seems, is taking Sampla's campaign more seriously. Within a week of his starting the campaign from Chabbewal, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal will be attending two more rallies in the constituency on Friday.
BJP state spokesman Diwan Amit Arora said by fielding 'flop' Jalandhar MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee from Hoshiarpur, the Congress has made things easier for the party but political observers believe that infighting in the saffron party could prove a boon for the Congress nominee.