BJP’s newly elected lawmakers have been camping at Uttar Pradesh Bhawan in Delhi’s Diplomatic Enclave to “thank senior party leaders” after their victory in the state. Most of them have been relaxing after hectic campaigning ahead of the March 16 meet to finalise the chief ministerial pick and to discuss ministerial berths. “I know it (the meeting) has been cancelled but jaane ka mood nahi hai,” said Ashok Kumar Singh Chandel, who won from Hamirpur, as he rested with his arms splayed over his head by a large window in his third floor room. In between sips of tea, Chandel insisted that they were not in Delhi to lobby.
“We are all soldiers. We will follow orders from the high command and do whatever it wants us to do. We only want to thank (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji for giving us tickets. We won in his name.”
Sangeet Som, the Muzaffarnagar riot accused and Sardhana MLA, made light of the cancelled meet in another third floor room. “It was only a rumour. But nevertheless, we are here in Delhi because of it,” he said.
Som, who drove for a family function at the Ashoka Hotel after an hour-long stop, insisted that lobbying does not work in the BJP. “What the central command will decide and who the BJP parliamentary board will choose as ministers will be final and that is happening in Lucknow,’’ he said. “The most experienced, hardworking and loyal workers will be chosen of course,” said Som as he took a call. “The meeting has been cancelled at Lucknow. I will not go to Lucknow until the next meeting is announced,” he said over his phone.
Javed Kamar Khan, a BJP MLC from Ballia who is staying at a relative’s place in Delhi, was at the Bhawan to meet party leader Daya Shankar. “I celebrated Holi with (Union minister) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in Delhi. Naqvi sahab had promised that the BJP will compensate its Muslim members once it wins the UP elections,’’ said Khan. “I am hopeful I will get a strong party post. I am trying to meet Daya Shankar ji to discuss these prospects,” added Khan as he showed his photos with colour-splashed Naqvi.
The lawmakers have been occupying half of 75 rooms at the Bhawan since Holi while ex-MLAs, journalists and MLCs are staying in the rest. “We have been flooded with requests for bookings but we can only accommodate as many as 75 people. We have important BJP leaders like Dayaram Chaudhary and Suresh Kumar Khanna staying here,” said a staffer.
Relatives and well wishers, carrying flowers, sweets, kept coming in and out of the Bhawan’s rooms amid frequent inquiries about who was staying where at the inquiry counter.