Denied tickets, some BJP MPs mull over options

Bharat Singh, the BJP MP from Ballia, wrote an angry letter to the party leadership after being denied the party ticket from his constituency.
Ballia MP supporters protesting against the denial of ticket to their leader Bharat Singh.
Ballia MP supporters protesting against the denial of ticket to their leader Bharat Singh.
Published on Mar 29, 2019 12:50 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By, Lucknow

Bharat Singh, the BJP MP from Ballia, wrote an angry letter to the party leadership on Thursday after being denied the party ticket from his constituency.

The move came a day after Anshul Verma, the BJP’s Dalit MP from Hardoi, dramatically handed over his resignation to a ‘chowkidar’ (watchman) at the UP BJP office and defected to the Samajwadi Party. 

Axed for the Lok Sabha polls, both MPs have challenged the party’s decision, wanting to know the ‘reasons’ for being dropped.

While some like Verma have crossed over to the opposition, others are mulling their ‘options’. 

In his letter, Bharat Singh has described himself as ‘janata ka chowkidar’ (watchman of the people) and listed a series of development works undertaken for the constituency.

When asked, State BJP president Dr Mahendra Natha Pandey said Bharat Singh is a senior and respected member of the party. “His feelings will be honoured.”

Pandey, however, said that he had no idea about the letter.

For his part, Verma said, “It’s clear that while the BJP talks of development on public platforms, it’s not enough for securing a ticket at least. Other factors are at work.” Priyanka Rawat, the BJP’s Dalit MP from Barabanki, who was also denied the party ticket, said she was hurt. 

“The leadership must explain why the ticket was denied to a woman and a Dalit,” she said. 

Before Anshul Verma, Bahraich MP Savitri Bai Phule had defected to the Congress and Allahabad MP Shyama Charan Gupta had switched loyalties to the Samajwadi Party (SP). Before defecting, they had launched a frontal attack on their party leadership, accusing it of being ‘anti-dalit’ and ‘corrupt.’  

Chaudhary Babu Lal, the BJP’s Jat MP from Fatehpur Sikri, who has been replaced too, is angry.

“The party needs to at least tell me the reason why I fitted in their scheme of things in 2014 LS polls and why I don’t do so now?” he asked. 

Babulal, who also held a panchayat to solicit the views of his supporters, is reported to be weighing his options. 

"Some party MPs are in touch with the opposition," a local BJP leader said, adding that while many won't "switch" they would definitely not "work for the party."

In many cases, the sitting MPs like Babu Lal, who have been denied tickets, are questioning their replacement.  

It’s not just the BJP that is grappling with dissenters. Other parties like the BSP too are having similar trouble. In Sitapur, for instance, cadres questioned the BSP leadership’s decision to field former minister Nakul Dubey from there.

“We want a local candidate,” a BSP leader said in Sitapur.

But it is the BJP that is witnessing maximum dissent after dropping 13 MPs while declaring 62 candidates for Lok Sabha polls in UP. 

Even though the BJP is yet to declare its Rae Bareli candidate, Ajay Agarwal has written a letter to the party leadership to forewarn it of risking “anger of Vaishya” community if he were ‘dropped’.

He had unsuccessfully contested against UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in 2014. 

Earlier, Unnao MP Sakshi Maharaj warned the party of an OBC backlash if he were to be dropped.

The BJP MP quickly disowned the letter later and found his name retained on the BJP list that was issued shortly after.  

“I think what you describe as dissent showcases the value of a BJP ticket. I won’t call it rebellion. That’s media vocabulary. See, ultimately a ticket can be given to one candidate in each seat. But, why aren’t you seeing a similar situation in other parties? It’s because their ticket hardly has any value and it’s the BJP alone where chances of winning are the most,” BJP leader Navin Srivastava said.

Former union minister Ram Shankar Katheria, the party’s Dalit MP from Agra has been moved to Etawah, his home district but his supporters don’t seem too happy. BJP leaders say that the decision to shift Katheria out of Agra was taken on the basis of “survey reports” that included assessment of local MLAs of the party. The cadres have also expressed their resentment against several other BJP leaders. For instance in Bansgaon, the Lok Sabha constituency adjacent to Gorakhpur, the cadres have raised slogans, “Modi-Yogi se bair nahi, Kamlesh teri khair nahi (we don’t have any problems with Modi or Yogi but Kamlesh better watch out now)”.  

In Shahjahanpur, supporters of union minister Krishna Raj, the sitting MP, have blamed a “powerful UP minister” for her being denied a ticket. 

"I don't think BJP chief Amit Shah is unduly bothered about defectors or protestors. Given his style of functioning, he must already be thinking ahead. All the same, in an election that is expected to be fiercely contested, such anger may not be good news. In a majority of the cases, the sitting MPs have refused to accept their replacement," said Athar Siddiqui of the Centre for Objective Research and Development. 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Manish Chandra Pandey is a Lucknow-based assistant editor with Hindustan Times’ political bureau in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Along with political reporting, he loves to write off beat/human interest stories that people connect with. Manish also covers departments. He feels he has a lot to learn not just from veterans but from the newcomers who make him realise that there is so much to unlearn

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The second phase of polling will be held on July 13 and the counting would be done on July 17. (Pics for representation)

    Madhya Pradesh civic polls: 1st phase of voting in 44 districts today

    Polling across 44 districts for the first phase of elections to urban bodies in Madhya Pradesh will begin at 7am today. A total of 1.04 crore voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the first phase of polling, an official informed news agency PTI. Voting will go on till 5pm, he added. Votes will be cast for municipal corporations including Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khandwa, Burhanpur, Chhindwara, Ujjain, Sagar, Singrauli and Satna.

  • The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) declared the Class-10 results on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

    PSEB Class-10 results: Mohali rises in ranking, slips in pass percentage

    Even though Mohali district rose by two spots from last year's ranking in the PSEB Class 10 exams, its pass percentage dropped from 99.91% to 99%. Last year, Mohali was placed 17th among the 23 districts. This year, it improved its standing to 15th, with Gurdaspur district bagging the top spot. As many as 9,401 students from 109 Mohali schools appeared in the exams and 9,307 passed.

  • A pack of five atracurim vials, a paralytic drug used in anaesthesia, was lying near the doctor, with four of the vials empty, said Mohali police. (iStock)

    32-year-old doctor ends life in Mohali’s Phase 2

    A 32-year-old doctor allegedly ended his life by injecting himself with a paralytic drug used in anaesthesia at his rented accommodation in Phase 2 on Monday night. The doctor, who hailed from Rupnagar, was living alone in the rented house for the last three months and worked at a private hospital in Sector 34, Chandigarh. The autopsy will be conducted at the Phase-6 civil hospital on Wednesday.

  • On Monday, Kalyani had applied for bail before a local court. Her plea will be taken up for hearing on July 8. (HT Photo)

    Sippy Sidhu murder: Kalyani’s judicial custody extended

    A local court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of Kalyani Singh, an accused in the murder of national-level shooter and lawyer Sukhmanpreet Singh, alias Sippy Sidhu. Lodged in Model Jail, Sector 51, since June 21, Kalyani, 36, was produced in court via video conferencing. On Monday, she had applied for bail before a local court. Her plea will be taken up for hearing on July 8.

  • Chandigarh administration had recently appointed 30 medical officers on deputation from Punjab, two from Himachal Pradeshand one from Delhi, while hiring none from Haryana. (HT)

    Haryana miffed over Chandigarh hiring medical officers from Punjab, other states

    The UT administration's decision to appoint 33 medical officers (MOs) on deputation from Punjab, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, and none from Haryana has not gone down well with the Haryana government. Highlighting its displeasure through a letter, the Haryana government has urged the UT administration to maintain the 60:40 ratio between Punjab and Haryana while filling up the vacant posts of MOs and dental surgeons. Till then, Haryana had not sent any panel of doctors.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 06, 2022