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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Divisions in BJP come to fore yet again

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh , July 04, 2014
First Published: 08:54 IST(4/7/2014) | Last Updated: 09:11 IST(4/7/2014)

The first informal interaction between city’s member of Parliament, Kirron Kher, with the media was marked by factionalism within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) local unit, with two senior leaders, Satya Pal Jain and Harmohan Dhawan, conspicuous by their absence here on Thursday.

The lunch organised by local chief Sanjay Tandon was to have a freewheeling discussion with the MP as she had hardly met mediapersons since she won the elections in May this year.

Otherwise too, Tandon has been coordinating Kher’s programmes across the city with residents, traders and public.

Kher was assisted by Tandon, who introduced her to the media from one table to another, during the meet. The MP said she was meeting the media along with her entire team. However, BJP councillors were not present at the venue. The only councillor who attended the function was Arun Sood. BJP Punjab leader Vineet Joshi and his brother, councillor Saurabh Joshi, were also not part of the luncheon meet. Prior to the elections, they were involved in handling Kher’s meetings and interviews.

The development is significant as the issue of friction within the party has been a known fact since the party went to polls this year. The three leaders, Tandon, Jain and Dhawan were in the race for the ticket for MP from the city, but the party preferred to field Bollywood actor Kirron Kher, who later emerged victorious. The three leaders could also be seen evading each other at various programmes during elections.

According to sources in the BJP, there was a lot of resentment among a section of workers and leaders for not inviting senior leaders to the function.

When contacted, Jain said, “I was not aware of any such lunch being hosted as I was not informed.” Similarly, Dhawan said, “I did not know about any such lunch programme.”

Commenting on the issue, Tandon said, “The lunch was organised for an infor mal meeting of the MP with the media. The entire media cell was present as they made all arrangements.”

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