The Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, got a taste of the factional fighting within his party unit at Udhampur when two groups came to blows on a dias making him to hurriedly address the gathering before leaving the venue.
One party worker has been taken into custody by the police, with party leaders accompanying Singh expressing displeasure over the incident. Though Singh did not speak over the issue on the occasion, one of them said that stern action will be taken against guilty in the matter.
The trouble erupted immediately after an ex-corporator Raju Chandel took the mike when Singh came on the dias in the community hall. When the local party leaders were garlanding him, verbal dual started between Chandel and the supporters of Pawan Khajuria, a local BJP leader over some issue.
As the altercation led to blows and raising of slogans between them, Jitendra Singh went out of the hall along with other party leaders accompanying him from Jammu. The high voltage drama between both the groups continued for nearly 20 minutes until Singh returned to the hall following intervention by some senior leaders.
Chandel owes allegiance to a faction headed by Pawan Gupta, son of veteran party leader Shiv Charan Gupta, while Pawan Khajuria is in the opposite faction. As both Pawan Gupta and Pawan Khajuria are strong contenders for party ticket from Udhampur during the coming Assembly elections, they do not leave any opportunity to brow beat each other in front of senior party leaders.
The Home Ministry had sent a panel of three senior IAS officers to pick from and Negi's name is not in the list.
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