Indian Express

Uma refuses to leave Jhansi, move to Rae Bareli

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Uma Bharti “I thanked Baba Ramdevji and honourable Rajnathji for their proposal and told them that I cannot leave Jhansi,” Uma Bharti. (PTI)

BJP’s ticket distribution woes do not seem to subside with former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti refusing to contest against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party sources revealed that leadership was under pressure from cadres to change at least six candidates who are being opposed by party’s local units.

Brushing aside requests from BJP president Rajnath Singh to contest against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli, former Madhya Pradesh CM and senior party leader Uma Bharti Friday recused herself from the offer saying that she will not leave Jhansi constituency announced for her earlier.

“I thanked Baba Ramdevji and honourable Rajnathji for their proposal and told them that I cannot leave Jhansi,” Uma Bharti declared in a post on Twitter. Consequently, the BJP acceded to her request and announced that Bharti will contest from Jhansi only.

“Party considered a suggestion from Ramdev. But, party has decided that Uma Bharti will contest from Jhansi,” BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said.

Party sources, however, indicated that leadership was actively considering the proposal to field television actor and Rajya Sabha MP Smriti Irani against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi. Bharti’s refusal, sources said, has left the party in lurch looking for another face to field from Rae Bareli.

Meanwhile, the resentment of party cadres against several candidates is learnt to have forced party’s state leadership to consider changing candidates in half a dozen Lok Sabha seats already announced in UP. Sources confided that local units have mounted pressure on the state as well as central leadership to change party’s candidates from Ghosi, Allahabad, Jaunpur, Macchlishahr, Hamirpur and Ambedkar Nagar.

“There is pressure from local unit against the choice of candidates in these constituencies and the feedback received by the party indicate very bleak chances of party succeeding in these constituencies,” confided a senior state unit leader.

However, party leaders suggested that changing candidates may not be easy as it may open pandora’s box with demands from other parts of the state to change candidates given the fact that party has given tickets to several turncoats against whom there is resentment brewing among party workers.

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