Differences arise over distribution of tickets, BJP says no division in ranks
The differences over distribution of tickets in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to the fore on Monday, just before the list of 78 candidates was announced by the party in Delhi. Gurgaon MLA Umesh Aggarwal, who is considered close to Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh, warned that ignoring Singh could cause heavy damage to the party in south Haryana.
Aggarwal, whose own fate as a contestant in the October 21 assembly election is still to be decided, tweeted around 4pm, “@Rao_InderjitS’ ji ki andhekhi party ko pad sakti hai bhari. Dakshin Haryana mein ho sakta hai bhari nuksan (Ignoring Rao Inderjit Singh could cause heavy damage to party in south Haryana).” He posted another tweet over how tickets should be distributed.
The statement by Aggarwal assumes significance as the BJP had refused to accommodate Gurgaon MP’s demand for ticket to his daughter and his supporters in around 10 constituencies of Ahirwal region.
A senior party leader, privy to the matter, said that Singh on Sunday and during the last week had a string of meetings with BJP top brass and sought ticket for his daughter Arti Rao and other supporters. He was joined by Faridabad MP Krishan Pal Gurjar, who was also seeking ticket for his son. Both these names were not on the list of candidates announced on Monday. Aggarwal’s tweet at a crucial time was seen as a sign of serious discontent by party leaders as well as political observers, he added.
In the past too, Singh has a history of taking on the party high command particularly if there is a challenge to his political turf in south Haryana. In 2014, he had shifted allegiance from the Congress to the BJP after fighting a running battle with then CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
However, when asked about the outburst by Aggarwal, a spokesperson for Gurgaon MP downplayed his statement and said that this could be the MLA’s personal opinion. “We are in close contact with senior leadership of the party and everything will become clear soon,” he added, while he refrained from commenting on differences over distribution of tickets.
Aggarwal, however, stood by his statement and said that Singh was a tall leader of the state and his views should be respected. “I stand by what I said,” he told HT.
His stand has, however, not gone down well with the party, party insiders said, but refrained from commenting on it.
BJP spokesperson Raman Malik said that the statement by Gurgaon MLA was his personal opinion. “The Gurgaon MP is a strong leader and he does not need someone else to make statements on his behalf. This could be MLA’s personal opinion,” he said.