In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the city is witnessing a political turmoil. Congress, BJP and AAP are involved in internal tussles before they get ready to face each other. Over the past few days, the infighting in the parties has come out in the open revealing divided houses. With there being just one Lok Sabha seat , the stakes are high for all parties.
In the Congress, it is after a decade that such a situation has been witnessed with six in fray for Lok Sabha ticket. This scenario has not been experienced since the 1999 elections when there were a number of contenders in fray. In fact, after Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal became the Railways Minister, it seemed a foregone conclusion that he would be the party’s choice for the elections.
However, the situation changed after the rail bribery scam. Sensing an opportunity, local Congress leaders some of whom were considered close to Bansal, staked claim to the ticket. A leader of the party said, “There is just one Lok Sabha seat in the city. There is not enough scope for the people who have been associated with the party for several decades. At most we can fight the elections of the Municipal Corporation. There is bound to be frustration among the party workers.”
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BJP is also facing a similar situation. Three senior BJP leaders who are aspirants for tickets have been involved in a tussle over a period of time. President of the party unit Sanjay Tandon, former MP Satya Pal Jain and another senior leader Harmohan Dhawan have been vying for a ticket from the city.
Things came to a boil on Wednesday when a meet with party workers from different camps ended in blows. The addition of actor Kirron Kher’s name to the list of probables has added another dimension to the tussle.
Following the ruckus, the system that the party was planning to adopt for selection of the candidates has been scrapped. It will now be up to the party high command to take a decision. Opinions of the party workers are now expected to be taken in a more discrete manner. The campaigning by the three is, however, continuing.
Both Tandon and Dhawan have got stickers printed with their picture along with BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. These are visible in several parts of the city. Jain claims to have crossed the 1 lakh mark when it comes to his followers on Facebook.
While the situation in the old parties is chaotic, even the newly floated AAP is no better. Around 200 people have applied for AAP ticket.
31 in race for AAP Lok Sabha ticket
AAP has shortlisted 31 applicants from whom the selection of candidate for Lok Sabha election would be done. Around 200 people had applied for a ticket by AAP from Chandigarh. The names have been put up on the website of the party and feedback has been sought from the public.While the names of prominent people from the city had been doing the rounds, none of the names figured in the final list. The list has however, led to resentment among the members of the local unit. The members are now claiming that till a local volunteers is given ticket, they would not extend support to AAP. Those figuring in the list include NRI Harbir Singh Nain, advocate Hitesh Kumar Puri, a doctor Jai Dev Wig, an activist Rahul Bharatiya, RTI activist RK Singla among others.