BJP expels 160 workers, leaders during polls

A total of 160 BJP leaders and workers have been expelled so far in Uttarakhand amid reports of widespread anti-party activities.

Updated: Feb 06, 2012, 21:44 PM IST

Dehra Dun: A total of 160 BJP leaders and workers have been expelled so far in Uttarakhand amid reports of widespread anti-party activities during the January 30
assembly elections, a top state party leader on Monday said.

Bishan Singh Chufal, state BJP president, told a news agency that the party has taken cognizane of all anti-party activities and has asked the district party units to submit all such reports in order to take further action.
"We have so far expelled 160 party workers and leaders during the assembly elections," said Chufal.

Chufal`s comments came after former chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, who is contesting from Doiwala seat, alleged that his campaign was marred by anti-party activities. Nishank went to New Delhi to apprise top leadership about the
intra-party squabble during elections that include airing of certain damaging reports by a local TV news channel.

Besides Nishank, Chufal said he has not received any such intra-party squabbles during the elections from other parts of the state. He said he has also discussed the issue with the party general secretaries to devise a strategy in this regard.

Chufal also said he has apprised the party high command about the issue.

After failing to stem the revolt, both the ruling BJP and Congress in Uttarakhand have expelled rebellious leaders during Assembly elections in their desperate bid to discredit them.

The two parties have had their share of post-ticket distribution revolts in over 20-22 each out of the total 70 constituencies.

The BJP had also expelled its four sitting MLAs Kedar Singh Fonia, Raj Kumar, GL Shah and Anil Nautiyal. The ruling party, which fielded nearly 36 new faces, created a political storm this time by axing nearly 12 of the total 36 sitting MLAs from the poll race in the face of the anti-incumbency.

These also include two cabinet ministers Khajan Das and Govind Singh Bist, who appeared to have now fallen in line after showing discontent initially.

In a damage control exercise, BJP political managers managed to convince some of the sulking party leaders not to put spanners in the way of the official candidates. Despite failing to get BJP tickets, a handful of party leaders decided not to contest elections, which was a relief to the party.

The saffron party faced severe crisis in Chamoli district where all the three seats were contested by their rebel candidates giving the ruling party much headache.

From Badrinath, former minister Fonia fought election as rebel candidate.

Similarly, on other two seats Tharali and Karanprayag, party rebels GL Shah and Anil Nautiyal, both Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishal loyalists, created problem for the ruling
party.

On the other hand, Congress did not deny any ticket to its sitting MLA to avoid any rebellion but yet faced severe rebellion.

PTI