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Tandon, Dhawan bury hatchet after Kirron announced BJP candidate

Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 16, 2014
First Published: 22:35 IST(16/3/2014) | Last Updated: 00:04 IST(17/3/2014)

A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party announced Bollywood actress Kirron Kher as the candidate for the Chandigarh parliamentary elections, two party leaders who were the main contenders for the ticket sank their differences. Local unit chief Sanjay Tandon and veteran leader Harmohan Dhawan called truce and offered support to each other.

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So much so that both leaders have told the party high command in Delhi that they have no problem if ticket is given to any of them. "We will work wholeheartedly to ensure the victory of any of the two of us who is given the ticket. We should work towards victory of the party and not offer the seat on a platter to our rivals," the duo has said.

Till the announcement of the BJP candidate, all three leaders - Satyapal Jain, Sanjay Tandon and Harmohan Dhawan - were almost competing with each other. All three used to campaign separately across the city and would rarely join each other on issues.

The party sources said, "Harmohan Dhawan and Sanjay Tandon were also called by the senior party leaders to pacify them."

The sources added that the leaders conveyed to the leadership that fielding an outsider would be disastrous and the seat, which the party is sure to win, was being offered on platter to the Congress.

The development of the two BJP leaders coming together is in fact insignificant now. The infighting among the three probable contenders had only forced the leadership to choose a candidate, who was neutral and would not be affected by infighting.

The party insiders also claim that the name of Harmohan Dhawan was almost finalised for the ticket but some changes were made at the last minute. The role of Satyapal Jain is being stated to be instrumental in proposing a candidate from outside, owing to infighting among the local leaders. Sources in the party said during the day, Dhawan and Tandon talked to each other and were still hopeful that the candidature of Kher would be rolled back.

When contacted, BJP Chandigarh unit chief Sanjay Tandon said, "I am a disciplined worker of the party and will abide by what the party has decided. I urge the workers to work for the benefit of the party. All these are small hurdles and we will get over it."

Meanwhile, Satyapal Jain, national chairman of the BJP's committee on legal affairs, has appealed to all BJP workers to ensure Kher's victory so that Narendra Modi can become prime minister. He said, "We will go ahead with the party's decision."

Harmohan Dhawan, on record, also added that the party's decision was fine with him. "We will ensure the victory of the candidate from the city and will weed out corruption in the form of the Congress."

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