After it faced embarrassment last year, with its two MLAs caught in a bitter contest for the top post of Baroda Dairy, yet another infighting has surfaced within the BJP. Trying to put up a united front to contest the Baroda Dairy polls, scheduled on November 6, the rift in the party has caused it to delay the selection of candidates for one of the 13 zones. In August last year, the party’s two MLAs — Dinesh Patel from Padra and Satish Patel Nishaliya from Karjan — fought for the dairy’s top post.
For the first time, the party decided to select its own candidate from each of the thirteen zones covered by the Dairy co-operative for the election of the board of directors scheduled on November 6. Minister Jaydratsinh Parmar has been given the charge to oversee the preparation of this crucial election. The names of candidates from 12 zones have been finalised but there has been lack of consensus among two heavyweight leaders from Waghodia over candidate whose name has been put forward by the party.
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Sources in the party said that BJP MLA from Waghodia, Madhu Srivastava was not happy with the name proposed by the party and had expressed his displeasure, which has forced the party to reconsider the name. The name of Jitendra Patel has met with resistance from Srivastava because the candidate is considered close to another BJP leader from the same region-Jayesh Patel, the chairman of the Parul Group of Institutes, who until recently was pitched as the main rival of Srivastava in this assembly constituency.
Patel, who contested twice against Srivastava as Congress MLA candidate for Waghodia assembly constituency but was defeated both the times, later joined the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha election. The clash between the two leaders over candidature has led to the delay, party sources said. “We are not able to establish coordination between the two important leaders from the region over the name of the candidate which is why we have not been able to finalise the name. Srivastava is not happy about the candidate whose name has been decided for the pose, and our effort is to find a candidate who is acceptable to all because we cannot risk any seat,” said BJP district president, Satish Patel.
Srivastava said that he has decided to give his consent over the name of the candidate that the party has decided. “I have told the party that it can go ahead with the name of the candidate who has been selected to represent the BJP from Waghodia for the Dairy polls,” Srivastava said. October 27 is the last date for the withdrawal of the candidature form and elections will be held on November 6. BJP decided to represent its own candidates mainly to avoid inner revolt during the election of chairman and vice-chairman, unlike the 2014 polls.
The party had to face embarrassment when two of its MLAs clashed with each other in the High Court for the top post after which Padra MLA Patel was elected while the then chairman and Karjan MLA Nishaliya had to back out. Patel had sought fresh election on the ground that it should be held within thirty days of annual general meeting, while Nishaliya opposed it, amidst unanimous decision by the 13-member board members for fresh election for the top post.