With Uttar Pradesh elections drawing near, and tickets already being distributed to most potential winners, those who feel ignored or neglected by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took to violence to lodge their protest. While internecine strife has hit all political parties in the fray, BJP had been mostly free of the problem. However, some signs of dissatisfaction have emerged and the worse of them have been in Amethi which is a Congress bastion long dominated by the party – till now, all BJP efforts to snatch the constituency away from them have not borne fruit although Smriti Irani has made significant inroads. Irani had unsuccessfully fought against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in last Lok Sabha elections.
The violence today in Amethi was carried out by a group of BJP workers and surprisingly this was for the second time in three days in protest against ticket distribution – an effigy of the minister was burnt on Monday too in Musafirkhana. BJP men blamed Irani for Uma Shankar Pandey being nominated for Gauriganj assembly seat. Pandey’s links to Irani are being connected to her getting the chance to contest the election. Pandey was once the polling agent of Irani during the general elections in 2014.
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BJP is threatening to take ‘action’ against wrongdoers indulging in anti-party activities. That the BJP strife runs deep is clear from the fact that hundreds of BJP men had threatened to resign unless Pandey’s nomination was rescinded.
More trouble may be in the offing for the Amethi seat too as another discontented partyman Ashish Shukla has threatened that he may “take any step” unless his demands are not accepted – he faces competition from Rani Garima Singh in the constituency.