Infighting in Himachal BJP: Dhawala to approach Jai Ram over dissolution of Jawalamukhi unit
A day after the Himachal BJP chief Suresh Kashyap dissolved the party’s Jawalamukhi block citing acts of dissidence, leaders owing allegiance to senior legislator and former minister Ramesh Dhawala have called the action ‘arbitrary’ and accused the state party chief of acting on behest of organisational secretary Pawan Rana.
Kahyap had divested the party’s district vice-president Kuldeep Sharma and secretary Joginder Kaushal, block president Chaman Lal Pundhir, Dehra Yuva Morcha district president Nitin Thakur and state co-spokesperson Rakesh Thakur of their titles and responsibilities.
Infighting between the party’s influential organisational secretary Pawan Rana and former minister Ramesh Dhawala had prompted the party to dismantle the Jawalamukhi block. Both Rana and Dhawala have been at loggerheads over local issues and organisational matters ever since the formation of the BJP government. Dhawala was instrumental in formation of the BJP- Himachal Vikas Congress (HVP) alliance government in 1998. Dhawala, who was an independent candidate, had enabled the BJP to topple the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government. Dhawala had been keenly vying for cabinet berth but the party ignored his claims when BJP gained majority in 2017.
Dhawala’s supporters have blamed Rana for hampering his prospects. Dhawala was appointed chairperson of the finance commission but he has been unhappy with chief minister Jai Ram Thakur and has repeatedly blamed Rana, who also hails from Jawalamukhi, for interfering in his constituency and organisation matters. Dhawala supporters allege that Congressmen were being given preference in both organisation and constituency.
Dhawala has been minister twice in the Prem Kumar Dhumal–led -BJP government, while Rana has been the party’s organisational secretary for nine years and is largely credited for strengthening the organisational structure along with party’s former chief Satpal Singh Satti.
Dhawala described the action as one-sided. “The action was one-sided action. I will meet the CM. Let’s see what happens this time,’ said Dhawala, adding that he had met the CM numerous times to apprise him of his grievances.
The party high-command had taken serious note of the two warring leaders in Jawalamukhi and had sought a report on the matter from the state party unit and had directed Suresh Kashyap to act as they believed that indiscipline in the party was detrimental for its image.