In a major embarrassment to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) two days before the mayoral polls, the party’s local unit general secretary Chander Shekhar, at a media conference on Wednesday, said, “Fielding Heera Negi for the mayor’s seat in 2015 was a mistake.”
With an aim to run down Congress mayor candidate Mukesh Bassi for his educational qualification — which is Class 12 — Shekhar ended up condemning his own party councillor. Last time, he said, BJP had lost because Negi, who was less educated, was fielded against Poonam Sharma. The general secretary put foot in his mouth he was asked that the BJP had also fielded Heera Negi, who has studied till higher secondary, against Sharma.
This time, the BJP did not repeat its mistake and fielded Arun Sood who is a lawyer, he said.
Soon after his remarks, the party members criticised Shekhar for denting party image.
Meanwhile, Heera Negi has reportedly taken up the matter with Kirron Kher, who, at a meeting with councillors, discussed the matter.
If it was not enough, Shekhar further ended up creating a flutter when he said the party was focusing only on the victory of the BJP candidates — meaning mayor and senior deputy mayor. When asked why the party was not working towards the victory of the deputy mayor, he answered, “Only the mayor is important for us, and moreover, the deputy mayor is an Akali candidate.”
Shekhar’s statements have left many party works red-faced, and in fact, the controversy has again led to infighting within the local unit.