Riddled with factionalism, the city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday tried to put up a united face as the party declared candidates for the mayoral polls, to be held on January 8.
In an embarrassment, the party failed to announce its candidate for the deputy mayor’s post. The city unit members of the party went into a huddle following intervention of the central leadership. City BJP chief Sanjay Tandon, member of Parliament Kirron Kher, senior leaders Satya Pal Jain and Harmohan Dhawan were present at the BJP office while the name of the candidates for the post of mayor and senior deputy mayor were declared.
Party’s local unit in-charge Prabhat Jha said Arun Sood would be the BJP’s nominee for the mayor’s post and Davesh Moudgil for senior deputy mayor. Both the councillors are lawyers and play an active role in the municipal corporation House meetings. It was for the first time that the party didn’t declare names of all three candidates (mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor) in one go.
Senior party leaders said the BJP had not named anyone for the deputy mayor’s post as the seat had been reserved for its ally the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). If the SAD fails to come up with a candidate, the BJP will announce is nominee for the post. “We have not declared the party’s nominee for deputy mayor as a part of our strategy. The name will be declared on Sunday. We will make all-out efforts to win mayoral polls this time,” said Jha.
However, sources say the party has failed to reach a consensus on selecting a candidate for the deputy mayor’s post. The infighting within the local BJP unit was reflective as senior central leaders, including Union health minister JP Nadda and Prabhat Jha, held meetings with the city unit members and directed them to sink differences.