Lok Sabha elections: BJP’s three candidates in Chandigarh unite — for a photo ophttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/lok-sabha-elections-bjps-three-candidates-in-chandigarh-unite-for-a-photo-op-5649775/

Lok Sabha elections: BJP’s three candidates in Chandigarh unite — for a photo op

City BJP chief Sanjay Tandon, Member of Parliament Kirron Kher and leader Satya Pal Jain, all three contenders for the Chandigarh ticket, tried hard to put up a united front for the BJP's campaign Main bhi chowkidar on Friday.

Lok Sabha elections: BJP’s three candidates in Chandigarh unite — for a photo op
MP Kirron Kher with city BJP president Sanjay Tandon and Satya Pal Jain during press conference regarding campaign of Main Bhi Chowkidar Hoon at the party office Kamlam in Sector 33, Chandigarh, on Friday. (Express Photo: Kamleshwar Singh)

City BJP chief Sanjay Tandon, Member of Parliament Kirron Kher and leader Satya Pal Jain, all three contenders for the Chandigarh ticket, tried hard to put up a united front for the national campaign Main bhi chowkidar, but the exchange of pleasantries among the ‘united’ leaders ended with the press conference.

Even though the conference was followed by a lunch, MP Kher left the venue at once, saying that she had a stomach infection and would go home to have her “khichdi”. Kher’s stomach seemed quite well in the evening when she tweeted about her ‘rubaru’ at a resident’s house in Sector 28.

Meanwhile, after stepping out of the conference hall, Tandon sat near his office while Jain stood alone having lunch until Mayor Rajesh Kalia joined him. It appeared to be a compulsion for all three to sit together before mediapersons.

Earlier, when a journalist asked the trio that since they have finally come together on a platform, if they have discussed who amongst them will do ‘chowkidari’ of Chandigarh, Kher replied in Punjabi, “Jinhu naukri miloogi, oh houga. Naal naal duje vi dono chalange (whoever gets the job will do it, the other two will keep pace with him).”

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Tandon then immediately took over and said, “You must have asked all three of us separately as well. I want to say that the names of all three of us are with the Central Election Committee, and whichever name is declared by our high command, we will all work with the person. Whatever decision is given by the high command will be supreme for us.”

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Asked if “eggs would be showered” on the chosen candidate like the last time, an obvious reference to eggs thrown on Kher’s cavalcade by Harmohan Dhawan’s supporters when her name was announced in 2014, Tandon replied, “Everyone moves ahead. Those who showered eggs are fortunately out of the system. So the egg party is separate now.”

Dhawan, the AAP candidate now, when contacted, said, “I don’t want to comment on these petty things. When Kher won, she had said that I played a major role in her victory.’’

Interestingly, a press release issued by the BJP in the evening had a detailed note about Tandon’s speech, but hardly four lines each about Kher and Jain.

BJP’s ‘Mein Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign

BJP is beginning a nationwide campaign ‘Mein Bhi Chowkidar’ “to convey to the nation that each and every citizen of the country who wants to protect this nation is a chowkidar”. As part of the programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a press conference on March 31, which will be digitally broadcast to at least 500 places across the nation. Sixteen of these locations will have interactive facilities where people will be able to interact with the PM live.

Tandon said Chandigarh BJP will hold as many as 10 programmes with different sections of society and professionals such as chartered accountants and company secretaries, who are chowkidars against black money, doctors who are chowkidars against female foeticide, teachers who are chowkidars against illiteracy, lawyers who are chowkidars against the corrupt and criminals and ex-servicemen who protect country’s borders.

Kher kicked off the campaign by putting on a special cap on Hari Shankar Mishra. Kher said, “It is ironical that leaders of Opposition who are out on bail themselves use derogatory language to falsely accuse our Prime Minster.”

Asked about infighting in the BJP at a House meeting, Tandon said, “Unki bhi aise hi bitha ke press conference karva dete hain.”