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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Blame game at BJP meet; no call on Joshi

Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, May 28, 2014
First Published: 07:25 IST(28/5/2014) | Last Updated: 07:28 IST(28/5/2014)

At the noisy Punjab BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) core group meeting in Delhi on Tuesday, the factions of state party president Kamal Sharma and his seniors traded charges over the average show in the Lok Sabha polls but came out with no decision on the resignation of state minister Anil Joshi.

State party president Kamal Sharma blamed the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), dominant partner in the state’s ruling alliance, for the defeat of BJP senior leader Arun Jaitley in Amritsar and other reversals.

The state BJP general secretaries agreed with him but some other senior leaders pointed out shortcomings within the party.

State unit office-bearers blamed taxes, illegal sand mining and the drug menace, while the rivals pointed out weaknesses everywhere, including Amritsar, Bathinda, Jalandhar, and Ludhiana.

After the pandemonium, the unit formed a five-member committee to analyse the performance. The committee with Balramji Dass Tandon as chairman has Laxmi Kanta Chawla, Manoranjan Kalia, Rajinder Bhandari and Ashwani Sharma as members.

Shanta Kumar, in-charge of Punjab affairs, whom a section of colleagues had accused of favouring the Kamal Sharma group, accepted on the phone that something, somewhere had gone wrong.

The core committee has asked him for decision on the resignation that Punjab minister Anil Joshi has submitted. “I told them (the BJP leaders) that I can’t decide, since the resignation was not submitted to me,” adds Shanta, hinting that now the report of the five-member committee would decide.

Joshi, deputy leader of the party’s legislative group in the assembly, resigned on May 16 on moral grounds after Jaitley lost in Amritsar after trailing by 16,726 votes in Joshi’s assembly constituency of Amritsar North.

State BJP ministers Bhagat Chunni Lal, Madan Mohan Mittal and Anil Joshi ; MP Avinash Rai Khanna; former state party presidents Bril Lal Rinwa and Ashwani Sharma; former minister Tikshan Sud; and general secretaries Ajay Jamwal, Tarun Chugh, Rakesh Rathore, and Jagtar Singh Saini attended Tuesday’s two hour meeting.

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