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Khurana may form a regional party

Sujay Mehdudia

He may damage BJP's prospects in elections


  • `I will respond only after receiving the official communication'
  • Various party leaders termed the expulsion as unfortunate

    NEW DELHI: The news of expulsion of former Delhi Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana might have brought cheer to his rivals but it's certainly not good news for the faction-ridden party that is struggling to regain a stronghold in city politics. Not only would this action anger the Capital's dominant Punjabi community, it could also force Mr. Khurana to form a regional front damaging the saffron party.

    Fears are being expressed within the party that a wounded Mr. Khurana could well wreak havoc and damage the prospects of the BJP in any future electoral battle. "I will respond to the situation only after receiving the official communication. I will not take things lying down and will consult my supporters on the issue. A party workers' meeting had been convened by the former Minister and BJP legislator, Harsharan Singh Bali, on Thursday and something concrete will emerge only there,'' an unshaken Mr. Khurana remarked after the news of his expulsion poured in.

    Although officially the local party unit refused to comment on the decision of the high command, various leaders termed the expulsion as unfortunate and not a good development for the BJP. Considered one of the popular leaders with a mass base, Mr. Khurana was the only recognisable face within the party that appealed to a cross-section of people and was not limited to his Punjabi community.

    Parleys

    The very fact that around half a dozen MLAs of the party had been holding parleys with Mr. Khurana even after his suspension from the party and local leaders meeting him indicated his support within the party. Mr. Khurana has been complaining of lack of support from the party to fight the Congress in Delhi and at times had talked about some BJP leaders going soft on the Sheila Dikshit Government leading to marginalisation of the saffron party and erosion in its base in the Capital.

    It is being speculated that Mr. Khurana could opt to form a regional party or a front comprising of like-minded groups in Delhi and then take on the Congress and the BJP in any future electoral battle. "If he cannot win a mandate on his own he has the potential to create a situation where the BJP would be fighting the BJP in various constituencies. He could do the kind of damage that the Janata Dal under the leadership of Ramvir Singh Bidhuri did to the Congress in 1993. Although the Janata Dal won four seats in the 1993 Assembly polls, it destroyed the prospects of the Congress candidates in at least 25 Assembly constituencies. It would not also be surprising if some of the MLAs decide to part ways with the BJP and join the Khurana bandwagon.

    Mr. Khurana has led an agitation on the industrial relocation issue under the banner of Delhi Vikas Manch that now could be turned into a political front.

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