BJP votes against RSS man, loses Panipat mayor seat to Independent

  • Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times, Karnal
  • Updated: Jun 22, 2015 22:49 IST

Infighting among its members has once again cost the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the mayor's seat in Panipat Municipal Corporation (PMC).

This time the saffron party lost to an independent candidate and ward number seven councillor, Suresh Verma on Monday.

Of the total 23 municipal councilors in the House, while 14 voted for Verma, only nine voted for Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leader Dushyant Kumar Bhatt.

Bhatt did not get six votes of the saffron party's 15 members in the House, which were crucial as Verma won by five votes. The mayor's chair was lying vacant after Panipat's first mayor, Bhupinder Singh, resigned in March this year.

The seat is reserved for a Backward Class candidate.

Sources told HT that a section of the BJP leadership in Panipat was not in favour of Bhatt becoming mayor. They said a few local leaders, moreover, wanted that candidate as mayor who could work according to their political designs.

"RSS leader Bhatt is influential and maintains a direct access to the saffron leadership of the state. Moreover, as a civic body has considerable budget for development activities, certain BJP leaders felt that Bhatt could have overshadowed them in popularity by initiating development projects," sources added.

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