October 14, 2021 8:48:07 am
The ruling BJP failed to convince its rebel from Jubbal Kotkhai, Chetan Bragta, to withdraw his nomination in favour of BJP’s official candidate, Neelam Saraik.
Wednesday was the last date to withdraw nominations and Bragta did not withdraw his nomination papers.
Now, there will be a triangular contest in Jubbal Kotkhai Vidhan Sabha constituency as Bragta, son of former MLA Narender Bragta, is contesting as an Independent candidate.
Earlier, BJP leadership had got Gobind Ram Sharma, a two-time MLA from Arki seat to not file his nomination papers as a rebel. Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur had convinced Sharma.
To convince Chetan Bragta to withdraw his nomination in favour of party candidate Neelam Saraik, BJP national president J P Nadda had directed the state leadership to pacify him and his supporters.
Even CM Jai Ram Thakur and BJP president Suresh Kashyap too had approached Bragta. But all efforts by party leadership had failed.
Pradeep Chauhan, Jai Ram government’s former Chief Economic Advisor and Chetan Bragta relative, said that Power Minister Sukhram Chaudhary and BJP MLA from Chaupal, Balbir Verma, too approached Bragta many times.
Other BJP leaders also reached out to him and his supporters through many ways to withdraw the nomination.
After the demise of former BJP MLA Narender Bragta, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and other leaders had allowed Chetan Bragta to share stage during public meetings since last two and half months. Not only this, he was virtually announced BJP’s candidate in these meetings. Bragta had even started his campaign, but he denied ticket by the party.
Narender Bragta and his family is considered close to former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.
Chetan Bragta’s supporters, meanwhile, blame Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj for denial of ticket.
After filing his nomination on October 8, Bragta had said in a public meeting that after winning the seat, he will strengthen BJP in the state. Returning Officer of the Jubbal Kotkhai Vidhan Sabha Constituency has allotted him ‘apple’ as election symbol.
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