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Audio clip, letter trouble brew for BJP in Himachal Pradesh ahead of vote count

The letter read, "Several persons associated with the party in Kangra prioritise their self-interest over the party's interest. They are only associated in name. Now that the elections are over, it is imperative that the mandal needs to be re-organised to make the unit stronger."

Kajal also accused Ramesh Brar, Zila Parishad head from the region, of supporting the Congress openly in order to get back at the BJP for not giving him the ticket. (Image source: Facebook/ Pawan Kajal)

Ahead of the declaration of Assembly election results on December 8, trouble is brewing for the BJP in the form of an audio clip and letter.

Recently, Pawan Kajal, a senior OBC leader and the BJP’s candidate from Kangra, allegedly wrote a letter to BJP national president J P Nadda accusing party members of sabotaging his poll prospects.

The letter read, “Several persons associated with the party in Kangra prioritise their self-interest over the party’s interest. They are only associated in name. Now that the elections are over, it is imperative that the mandal needs to be re-organised to make the unit stronger.”

Kajal goes on to name local leader Munish Sharma alleging that he offered a bribe of Rs 20 lakh to village heads in order to defeat the BJP candidate from Kangra. The letter said that Sharma was working at the behest of the Congress whose candidate, Surender Kaku, was a “dummy” fielded by him in order to damage the BJP’s chances.

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Kajal also accused Ramesh Brar, Zila Parishad head from the region, of supporting the Congress openly in order to get back at the BJP for not giving him the ticket. Kajal alleged that Sanjay Chaudhary, who defected from the BSP, also conspired against the BJP in Kangra.

As per sources, Sharma is considered close to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and the letter is an indictment of the CM’s leadership. Kajal, who was the working president of HPCC and had won from Kangra in 2017 on a Congress ticket, joined the BJP citing discontent. As the letter went viral on social media, the leader claimed that the communication was meant for Nadda and that he does not have a problem with the state organisation.

Besides, a purported audio clip of a conversation between Ranu Chadha, former MLA from Dalhousie and a party worker, has been doing the rounds. In the clip, the leader can be heard saying, “I spoke to Rakesh Pathania (BJP candidate from Fatehpur) who told me that there was a conspiracy against him. His seat was changed and his entire cadre of support shifted. He told me flatly that he is losing.”

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The former MLA, in the purported audio clip, said, “We (BJP) will continue fighting while Congress will form government.”

The BJP has faced a rebellion in more than 20 seats in the recently concluded elections due to discontent with ticket distribution. The internal rebellion prompted senior leaders such as Nadda to visit the state multiple times in order to pacify party workers.

“The BJP is going to form the government by changing the tradition (of the BJP and Congress coming to power alternately). It is due to this fear that the Congress is making irresponsible statements. Even their CM candidates are losing elections, whether it is in Una, Chamba or Hamirpur. The Congress knows that their leadership is unstable and they know that once BJP wins this election, they will form a stable government for the next 10 years and Congress will lose its base,” said BJP spokesperson Karan Nanda.

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However, the Congress stated that the discontent is in line with the events that have taken place prior to the elections. “As per our feedback, the Congress is winning comfortably and we will come to power. What has now emerged has only confirmed this. Even BJP knows now that we are winning. There had been rebellion earlier as well and the writing is on the wall,” said Naresh Chauhan, vice-president of the Congress state unit.

First published on: 26-11-2022 at 09:42 IST
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