Newly appointed Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan was conspicuous by his absence at a lunch hosted by Vijay Goel, the former Delhi unit president and now a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan, on Monday.
The day before Harsh Vardhan was to officially take over as the Delhi BJP chief, Goel had left the national capital for Rajasthan, and the official ceremony for Harsh Vardhan was cancelled.
Present at the lunch — where Rajasthani cuisine was served — were party president Rajnath Singh, Ram Lal, Meenakshi Lekhi, Arti Mehra, V K Malhotra and leaders considered close to Goel. When asked about Harsh Vardhan’s absence, a close aide of Goel said he too was invited. Harsh Vardhan landed in Delhi at noon. He was in Indore on Sunday.
Several other leaders, such as Vijender Gupta, were not even invited. When asked whether he was invited to the lunch, Gupta said, “That lunch was only for media. Leaders were not invited.”
The absence of Harsh Vardhan is being seen as the continuing factionalism within the party.
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The absence of Goel on the day Harsh Vardhan was to take charge as Delhi unit president, too, did not go down well with the party cadre.