Sunday, Nov 09, 2003
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By Sujay Mehdudia
The Delhi BJP president, Madan Lal Khurana, had declared on Friday that the party would announce its second list on Saturday but withhold around five names. The BJP Central Parliamentary Board was to take up discussions on Delhi and come out with the list by this evening. But the difference of opinion on major seats between the Delhi BJP MPs and the RSS leaders, including Ramesh Prakash and Ishwar Dass Mahajan, has led to a situation where the party has been forced to withhold the announcement of the second list. In addition to this, voices of protest against the unilateral decisions being taken by some prominent MPs including Mr. Khurana, the Union Labour Minister, Sahib Singh Verma and the South Delhi MP, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, in the distribution of party tickets are also being raised. During the past few days, there were allegations that grass-root level workers were being ignored and only those who had proximity to these leaders or have backing of the Sangh Parivar were being given weightage and prominent names were being left out. Many partymen feel that tickets were being given to those who have nothing to do with the organisation.
A senior leader remarked that in the first list, the three MPs - Khurana, Malhotra and Verma - had a major say. But subsequently, following protests the entire show has been reportedly taken over by the Sangh Parivar. This has led to a virtual dispute in the organisation with doubts being raised whether Mr. Khurana is having a free hand in selecting and fielding of party candidates for the 70 Assembly seats. Interestingly, some of the heavy-weights who seem to be in trouble with the Sangh Parivar or the BJP leadership include the former Ministers, Devinder Shoukeen and Rajinder Gupta, former MLAs, Karan Singh Tanwar, O.P. Babbar, Mewa Ram Arya and senior leaders, Jagdish Mamgain and Ved Vyas Mahajan. This has been partially responsible for delay in the release of the list. Already there have been murmurs of revolt within the BJP New Delhi district committee led by its president, Kedar Nath Sachdeva, over the distribution of party tickets in the five Assembly segments of New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. It is now understood that the BJP Central Parliamentary Board would meet on Sunday to take up further discussions on Delhi and announce the second list.
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