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BJP supporters resent ticket distribution, storm party office

Supporters of several BJP leaders, who were denied tickets stormed the party state office in protest forcing senior leaders behind locked doors, writes PK Maitra.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2003 19:08 IST

Resentment within the BJP ranks touched a new high on Monday when supporters of different rebel leaders virtually stormed the state party headquarters on Monday evening demanding that their leaders be given tickets.

It was a hard time for the state leadership to convince the disgruntled partymen. Despite the state BJP chief Dr Raman Singh’s frantic bid to pacify these partymen, they refused to relent and insisted that an immediate decision be taken to reconsider their appeal for providing tickets to genuine loyal party workers.

The entire drama took a new turn when the union minister for Agriculture, Rajnath Singh entered the office on Monday night. The agitated party workers gheraoed him and shouted slogans against BJP bigwigs. They even gheraoed Dr Singh, the party veteran, Lakhiram Agrawal and state party general secretary, Saudan Singh and some of them even decided to sit on dharna in the office.

The unruly mob of BJP supporters even forced the senior party leaders to stay indoors behind locked doors inside the party office. The mob raised slogans against the senior party leaders, particularly Lakhiram and Dr Singh for giving tickets to their kins and ignoring the claim of sincere party workers.

Chadrika Bhat, a rebel party worker, who came from Dhamdha in Durg district, pointed out that the senior BJP leaders were only concerned about the tickets of their relatives. In the process they miserably failed to press tickets for genuine, sincere and dedicated party workers.

Bhat, along with at least 1,000 workers stormed in the BJP state office this evening to lodge a protest against the ticket to Jageshwar Sahu, a former Congress leader, ignoring the claim of Labhchand Bafna, a senior party leader of Durg district.

“Dr Singh, Lakhiram and other senior party functionaries have flatly told us that it would be difficult for them to reconsider the party nomination from Dhamdha and urged us to work for the official party worker,” he said.

He continued, “How can we work for a candidate who have just joined the BJP. Are we bonded labourers of these dishonest leaders?” he asked.

Similarly, the supporters of Tarun Hathel of Dongargarh staged a dharna before the office and shouted slogans against the leadership. They were annoyed with the party leaders for giving ticket to a Bhilai Steel Plant employee, depriving the claim of Hathel, an active party leader and councilor of Dongargarh Municipality.

Supporters of Nandeshwar Sahu, who was also denied a ticket from Raipur (Rural) met Dr Singh in the office and threatened that they would en-mass resign from the party, if the decision was not reconsidered soon.

Puran Thakur, a Sarpanch of Raipur district even vowed to defeat Rajesh Munoot, the official nominee from Raipur (Rural), if the party fails to change its candidate immediately.

Similarly, a group of close associates of Lalit Chandrakar, a potential BJP leader from Durg, met the state BJP chief and demanded that Chandrakar be given a ticket from Khertha, instead of Dr Balkrishna Dewangan. Dewangan already figured the list of BJP candidates, announced a few days back.

Till the filing the report scores of angry partymen from different areas in Chhattisgarh made a beeline towards the BJP headquarters to express their resentment over the distribution of tickets.

First Published: Nov 11, 2003 18:47 IST