The Lok Sabha election results may still be about a month away, but fissures within the Congress party have started surfacing, with aides of party’s Karnal nominee Arvind Sharma claiming that some party leaders worked against their leader.
Arvind Sharma was fielded by the Congress for the third consecutive term from Karnal.His aides allege that Sharma faced more opposition from within the party than his political opponents.
“In Congress ke leaderon ne Sharma saab ki ghobi khodne me koi kasar nahin rakhi (These Congress leaders worked to harm (Arvind) Sharma,” said one of Sharma’s aides in local parlance.
Sharma, however, remained unavailable for comment on Monday.
“We have apprised the central leadership about mischievous working of certain party leaders including, certain elected representatives of the Congress from the constituency. These leaders worked to sabotage Sharma’s electoral prospects,” said one of his aides.
Members of Sharma camp also said that they were refrained by the leader from naming any Congress leader till the election results were declared on May 16.
“Our team has prepared an exhaustive list of the party leaders who worked against us. Once we get the green signal from Sharma, we will make the names public,” said a source in Sharma’s office, adding that certain party office-bearers were among the ‘black sheep’.
“We are sure of his victory, but this time the margin would be reduced drastically. If Sharma loses then it is all due to these Congress leaders’ working against the party nominee,” said another source.
Differences in the Congress were visibly seen at an election rally in Panipat on April 6 in the presence of All India Congress Committee vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Five-time legislator and former president of the state Congress Balbir Pal Shah had taken potshots at Arvind Sharma on the issue of development projects taken up in Panipat.
Shah had not hidden his anger against Sharma whom he had charged with falsely taking credits of the projects actually taken up by him (Shah).
“Sharma had first won Sonepat seat as an independent in 1996 and elected twice from Karnal in 2004 and 2009. Ab to janta ki marzi hai ke kise vote daale (It’s for people to decide whom they should vote for). But I have no option but to support even the worst candidate of my party,” he had told Hindustan Times after the rally held four days before the polling.
In a separate interview to HT on polling day, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Ashwini Kumar Chopra “Minna” had claimed that he gave credit to the Congress factionalism and Modi Wave for BJP’s winning prospects here.
“Being a journalist I am aware that CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Congress Gannaur MLA Kuldeep Sharma don’t go along well with Arvind Sharma. Also, the ex-Congress leader and Kuldeep’s close relative Venod Sharma and other worked against Arvind Sharma,” said Chopra, owner of Hindi daily Punjab Kesari.