Infighting within the Phagwara unit of the BJP reared its head before the state leadership, when supporters of former minister Chaudhary Swarna Ram tried to protests against MLA Som Parkash at the executive meet venue, alleging that the legislator was ignoring the local leaders of the party.
The protesting party workers, raising slogan of Som Parkash Murdabaad (down with Som Parkash) and demanded his expulsion from the party.
The police, however, stopped their march to the marriage palace where the meeting was being held. There was also a minor scuffle between the cops and the protesters after the protesters broke some barricading.
"Chaudhary Swarna Ram is a leader who established the party in the Doaba region, when nobody was ready to support the BJP. Now, the MLA Som Parkash has ignored him completely. Even on the hoardings laid to welcome the BJP leadership for the state executive meeting, his picture is seen nowhere. Som Parkash has become an autocrat," said Avtar Mand, a staunch supporter of the former minister.
Swarna Ram's supporters also demanded a CBI probe into the assets of Som Parkash, a former top bureaucrat of the Punjab government.
Recently, Som Parkash had reportedly said that "… a few workers of the party have no say now". The supporters of Swarna Ram had taken offence to this, but the MLA when contacted denied any such comment.
"Such demonstrations are uncalled for," the MLA said.
State BJP chief Kamal Sharma said he would comment only after listening to the grievances of the both the groups.
Core committee discusses political scene
In the core committee attended by senior leaders except Rajya Sabha MP Avinash Rai Khanna, the leaders discussed the present political scenarios of state especially the tough stance taken by SAD in which the party has indirectly attacked the BJP and NDA -led central government.
The committee also discussed the party's strategy to counter the SAD and at the same time keep the momentum in favour of the BJP. Sources said the core committee also decided to maintain pressure on alliance partner SAD to get maximum seats forthcoming assembly polls.
However, certain senior leaders raised questions over the agenda of the core committee and state executive meeting terming that both the events had turned out to be 'unfruitful'.
"It has happened for the first time that in an executive meeting that no resolution was passed. The core committee meeting also lasted for only one hour and was a mere formality," said a senior party functionary.