After Lok Sabha poll win, fissures emerge in Himachal’s BJP unit
A group of BJP leaders owing allegiance to Pawan Rana, met chief minister Jai Ram Thakur at his residence to complain against Ramesh Dhawala, describing his functioning as “arbitrary”.Updated: Jul 22, 2019, 12:59 IST
Two months after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) spectacular victory in the Lok Sabha elections wherein the party secured all four seats in Himachal Pradesh with huge margins, internal fissures among party leaders have come to the fore.
Dissidence in the party surfaced on Friday when a section of BJP leaders, who owe allegiance to party’s organising secretary Pawan Rana, opened front against planning commission chairman and four-time Jawalamukhi legislator Ramesh Dhawala.
The group met chief minister Jai Ram Thakur at his residence to complain against Dhawala, describing his functioning as “arbitrary”.
Dhawala rues Rana’s interference
The chief minister met Dhawala in a bid to find a way forward to defuse intra-party squabbling.
During this close-door meeting, Dhawala apprised Jai Ram of Pawan Rana’s interference in the functioning on his home turf.
Upset over Rana’s repeated attempts to undermine him, Dhawala reportedly even offered to quit the assembly.
“It’s an internal matter of the party, which will be solved amicably. I have told the chief minister clearly that the party office-bearers should limit themselves to organisation. They should let the elected representatives do their job,” Dhawala said when asked to comment on the issue.
Dhawala had earlier raised the matter with the then BJP national general secretary in charge of organisation, Ram Lal. Dissidence erupted in the party after Ram Lal was repatriated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and BL Santosh replaced him.
Dhawala is said to have expressed his resentment over the government’s move to “accommodate his detractors”.
Gauging dissident activities in the party, the chief minister will be convening a meeting at his residence Oakover on Monday in the presence of both Satpal Singh Satti and Pawan Rana.
‘Small things happen in a big family’
Satti, however, downplayed the reports of bickering in the party, stating that “sometimes, small things happen in a big family”.
“Ours is a cadre-driven party. The chief minister has convened a meeting and things will be settled amicably,” he added.
The said infighting has emerged in the Jawalamukhi’s block unit at a time when party’ women wing – Bharatiya Mahila Morcha – chief Indu Goswami quit her post accusing the government and party leaders of ignoring her.
Goswami had unsuccessfully contested elections on the BJP ticket from Palampur, the bastion of BJP’s veteran leader and former chief minister Shanta Kumar.
Goswami was upset over not being given preference in carrying out development works. She was reportedly unhappy over the decision to induct Shanta Kumar’s protégé, former legislator Praveen Sharma, who had contested as an Independent in the assembly elections from Palampur. Sharma’s candidature was largely responsible for Goswami’s drubbing. Nurpur’s three-time legislator Rakesh Pathania, who once was a blue-eyed boy of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and keen on a cabinet berth, is also said to be unhappy with the government.