No BJP leader except Varun Gandhi is campaigning in five assembly constituencies in Pilibhit apparently due to differences among partys senior leaders. Varun is a Lok Sabha member from Pilibhit.
As Pilibhit goes to the polls on March 3,only a week is left for campaigning in Pilibhit,Puranpur (SC),Barkhera,Baheri and Bisalpur constituencies. But except Varun,no other leader,whether from the state or Delhi,have shown up for electioneering.
Interestingly,although Varun is a star campaigner of the party,he has not gone anywhere else for campaigning,confining himself to Pilibhit and addressing over a dozen public meetings there every day.
He has been staying away from all activities of the state unit for the past six months.
Pilibhit district general secretary of BJP Dheerendra Mishra said,Except Varun,no other leaders has so far come to campaign in Pilibhit. Varun is sufficient to ensure the victory of party candidates,we do not need anyone else here.
However,a senior party leader explained,The party has fielded candidates in four seats of Pilibhit according to Varuns choice,but he still does not want any other leader to campaign in Pilibhit. Naturally,other party leaders are avoiding Pilibhit.
Sources said that within Pilibhit,Varun is staying away from Baheri because the candidate,Chhatrapal Singh Gangwar,who is a sitting MLA,was not his choice. Campaigning in Baheri is left to local BJP workers.
Varun refused to discuss the matter,but the partys national vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said,There is no issue between party leaders and Varun,and he is campaigning in Pilibhit regularly.
He said the partys other star campaigners would go for campaigning in Pilibhit very soon.
Pilibhit is scheduled for polling in the final phase of election and hence the programme of leaders are being finalised now, Naqvi said.
Along with Pilibhit,polling is scheduled for March 3 in 10 districts,including Moradabad and Bareilly. Naqvi,who too,has not visited Pilibhit,had addressed a minority rally in Moradabad on February 19. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley had campaigned in Faridpur and Bareilly on February 18.
Party president Nitin Gadkari addressed a public meeting in Bareilly on Wednesday. Sources said Varun was invited,but he did not attend.