While Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to declare another list of Lok Sabha candidates from Uttar Pradesh, the party’s state headquarters has become a hotbed of dharnas and protests.
A Supreme Court lawyer, Ajay Agrawal, began an indefinite dharna along with over 500 supporters in Lucknow alleging that the party is considering fielding a weak candidate against Congress president Sonia Gandhi from Rae Bareli, a seat for which he has been preparing since the last six months.
Agarwal claims he had been a petitioner in the Bofors pay-off case and had presented numerous evidence against Sonia before the Supreme Court. Agarwal reached the party headquarters Tuesday afternoon with his supporters in nearly 50 SUVs with banners demanding a ticket for him from Rae Bareli.
Meanwhile, over a hundred BJP workers from Siddharth Nagar staged a dharna at party office campus in Lucknow against former Congress MP Jagdambika Pal who is trying for an entry into BJP and is claiming the Dumariyaganj ticket.
The workers also torched an effigy of Pal outside the office and raised slogans against him. “We want that the party should give ticket to any person from the party cadre other than Jagdambika Pal. We have been fighting against Congress and Pal in Dumariyaganj during last several years and if he is fielded from BJP we cannot ask people to vote for him,” said Ajay Pandey, party’s district president of Siddharth Nagar, who led the protest.
Pandey also said two other local leaders, Pratap Singh and Prem Prakash, are camping in Delhi seeking a ticket from Dumariyaganj. Jai Pratap had contested against Pal in the 2009 election as BJP’s candidate.
There were reports of similar demonstrations from Allahabad where a group of BJP workers demanded a ticket for former minister Nand Gopal Gupta ‘Nandi’ who was expelled from BSP along with his mayor wife Abhilasha a few days ago. Allahabad district president Shashi Varshneya confirmed that some workers staged a demonstration demanding a ticket for Nandi.
Former party state president Kesari Nath Tripathi is also in the race for the ticket there, besides Yogesh Shukla, who had contested for BJP in 2009.
On Sunday, party workers had staged demonstrations in Deoria, Jaunpur and Bhadohi protesting against the candidates declared by the BJP from these places.