A day after Shiromani Akali Dal inducted expelled BJP municipal councillor Vijay Thappar into its fold in the presence of SAD leader and Batala halqa incharge Lakhbir Singh Lodhinagal, a war of words began within the ruling alliance partners.
District BJP president Suresh Bhatia along with other office-bearers held a press conference on Sunday and blamed Lodhinangal of weakening the BJP base in the constituency.
Lodhinangal, a former MLA from Qadian, had inducted Vijay Thappar into the SAD on Saturday. The latter had extended support to another BJP dissident councillor become the president of municipal council in violation of BJP directive on April 22.
Bhatia alleged that Lodhinangal's action violated the understanding between the SAD and BJP and he was trying to break the alliance.
"Lodhinagal is not only trying to create groupsim among the BJP councillors but also weakening the BJP base in the area by making our workers join the SAD," he remarked.
He asserted that the former MLA's effort to strengthen the SAD base in the constituency at the cost of the BJP would never be tolerated.
Demanding the removal of Lodhinangal from the post of Batala halqa incharge, Bhatia said that he would bring the entire matter to the notice of district SAD president Sucha Singh Langah and state BJP leadership and seek appropriate action against him.
On the other hand, Lodhinagal denied the allegations and maintained that he had never tried to weaken the BJP base. He claimed that Vijay Thappar was expelled from the BJP and was being lured by the Congress, adding that he inducted him into the SAD fold to strength the alliance for the coming parliamentary elections.
There was groupism in the local unit of the BJP since the last municipal council elections, affecting the development of the town, he added.
Batala assembly seat was allotted to the SAD during the last assembly elections and Lodhinangal is allegedly trying to install an Akali leader as the next chairman of Batala improvement trust, which is creating consternation among the local BJP leadership.