New Delhi: The rift within the party over naming ex-IPS officer Kiran Bedi as the CM candidate for the upcoming Delhi polls is out in the open. Supporters of Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Delhi unit president Satish Upadhyay staged a protest outside party headquarters on Tuesday, reportedly miffed with him not being named as the party's CM candidate.
The supporters also shouted slogans and said that “they will not tolerate a parachute CM” and even surrounded Upadhyay's car.
Upadhyay tried to calm the protesting party workers and was even reportedly heckled at the Delhi BJP office, the ANI reported.
Satish Upadhyay roughed up at Delhi BJP office https://t.co/YqOyKAtMzl
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 20, 2015
He attempted to pacify the supporters and said that he was not interested in contesting the polls at all.
“I never demanded a ticket and am not upset over not being named as the CM candidate. It was my personal decision to not contest election,” he told ANI.
Upadhyay said that he will ensure party's success in the upcoming polls under Bedi's leadership.
“If I contest polls, then who will organise political candidates for my fellow candidates,” he added.
Apart from Updahyay's supporters, another section of party workers supporting BJP leaders Shikha Rai and and Abhay Verma, are demanding election ticket for her. The names of these leaders were not mentioned in the list of candidates that was declared by the BJP yesterday.
Meanwhile, Delhi police has arrived at the BJP headquarters to control the situation.
Bedi was named as the BJP's chief ministerial candidate yesterday night and will contest from Krishna Nagar seat which was earlier held by Dr Harsh Vardhan, who was party's chief ministerial candidate for 2013 Assembly polls.
Clearing his stand over Bedi contesting polls, he told ANI, “It is a matter of happiness that Kiran Bedi is contesting from the area I am attached with.”
Despite BJP leaders assuring that there is no rift within the party over naming of the CM candidate, the party top brass has been facing opposition over 'outsider' Bedi's candidature.
The former 'Team Anna' member, which also included Aam aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal, had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on January 15 in the presence of BJP chief Amit Shah and Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Harsh Vardhan among others.
Hours after she was named as the party's CM candidate, her hoarding was vandalised outside BJP headquarters yesterday. The faces of Bedi and Upadhyay were cut from the hoarding.
Party MP Manoj Tiwari had yesterday said that Bedi joined the BJP as party worker and that the top leadership is yet to take a decision regarding her declaration as chief ministerial candidate.
However, Tiwari was reportedly pulled up by the party's top brass and later said that the former IPS officer was welcome in the party.
According to reports, several senior party leaders were unhappy with Bedi being projected days after being inducted into the party.
Party chief Amit Shah had also told the press yesterday night, while announcing the name of Bedi, that there was no dissent regarding her name.
Delhi Assembly polls are scheduled to be held on February 7 and results will be declared on February 10.