NEW DELHI: Ahead of Union Home minister Amit Shah’s visit for launching a yatra against drugs, Punjab BJP is witnessing infighting. Senior BJP leader from Pathankot, Vipin Mahajan, has accused other leaders of destabilising the party. In a Facebook post, Mahajan targeted ex-MLA from Sujanpur Dinesh Singh Babu, ex-MLA Bhoa Seema Devi and district BJP president Vijay Kumar, for working against the party.
The Pathankot region is considered a stronghold of the BJP. The saffron party has a sizeable number of votes in the Pathankot district. The district lies in Gurdaspur Lok Sabha, which is considered a bastion of the BJP. BJP state president Ashwani Sharma is MLA from the Pathankot Assembly seat.
This infighting has come at a crucial time when Punjab BJP is focusing on increasing its footprint in the state. Apart from infighting, BJP is also witnessing resentment among workers due to the influx of leaders from other political parties.
The Sunday Guardian contacted Vipin Mahajan to know more about the matter. “Whatever I want to say I have said on Facebook; now it’s within the party to take action on this issue,” Mahajan said.
In his Facebook post, Mahajan announced his resignation from the post of state executive member of Punjab BJP and in-charge of Hoshiarpur. In a social media post, he discussed how senior leaders are side-lining the workers just because workers were seeking the party’s election ticket. He also targeted Gurdaspur MP Sunny Deol and said it has become hard for BJP workers to answer the public of the constituency due to Deol’s absence.
Mahajan also discussed the violation of the party’s whip by Dinesh Babu in the 2021 local bodies’ election. According to a BJP leader: “In the 2021 local bodies elections, when Congress was in power, the BJP won the most seats in the Sujanpur Municipal Committee and according to the numbers, the BJP was entitled to the President’s post in the committee.” “At that time, state BJP president issued a whip to make Raj Kumar Gupta, president of the committee, but at that time, then BJP MLA from Sujanpur Dinesh Babu and BJP district president Vijay Sharma helped the Congress candidate and we lost the president’s position,” alleged a BJP worker.
Later, Raj Kumar Gupta left BJP and joined the Akali Dal. He was the candidate of Akali Dal from the Sujanpur Assembly seat in the 2022 elections, but both Dinesh Singh Babu and Raj Kumar Gupta lost to Congress’ Naresh Pauri.
Reacting to Mahajan’s post, Dinesh Babu said: “If he thinks the party has ignored him and has not given him any position, this is not in my hand. The party state and district president decide this, not me.” Babu added: “It’s very easy to accuse, a person coming and going from party won’t impact the party.”
The long absence of MP Sunny Deol and infighting in the saffron party unit may impact the BJP’s performance in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Building a cadre all around the state and cherishing old workers are some challenges for the saffron party in the state.