Bickering broke out in the BJP a fortnight before the counting of votes, after its candidate from Kangra assembly constituency Pawan Kajal shot off a letter to the party’s national president JP Nadda complaining against chief minister Jai Ram Thakur’s close aide and two others.
Kajal, a former Congress working president and two-term legislator, had joined the BJP a couple of months before the assembly elections held on November 12.
His entry into the BJP prompted a sharp reaction from the party’s block unit.
Notwithstanding the revolt in its house, the BJP picked Kajal as its face from Kangra, after which many leaders skipped the election campaign, while the party’s block president Kulbhash Chaudhary jumped into the poll fray as an independent.
Now Kajal has made a complaint against Munish Sharma, the blue-eyed-boy of chief minister Jai Ram Thakur, incumbent Zila Parishad chairman Ramesh Brar and former legislator Sanjay Chaudhary accusing them of anti-party activities during the elections.
Though confident of his victory from Kangra, Kajal, in his letter to Nadda, wrote that he deems it necessary to inform the BJP national chief about the anti-party activities of Kangra block office bearers and leaders.
Levelling serious accusations against Munish Sharma, Kajal charged him with working autocratically in Kangra without being elected to any public office.
“A proper probe would bring to the fore his wrong deeds,” wrote Kajal.
He alleged that Sharma, in order to make the BJP lose the election in Kangra, tempted the village pradhans by offering ₹20 lakh bribes, and Kajal wrote in the letter that “He can also provide evidence if needed.”
“He (Sharma) provided full financial help to the Congress candidate Surinder Kaku in Kangra, who is a dummy candidate,” Kajal alleged.
In his letter, Kajal alleged that “(Munish) Sharma not only funded Congress’ Kangra candidate election campaign but also tried to influence the election using money in Nagrota Bagwan and Jawalamukhi assembly segments. Ravinder Ravi, who is known to be close to former CM PK Dhumal, was in the fray from Jawalamukhi and Arun Mehra was in the fray from Nagrota Bagwan against Congress candidate RS Bali.
Kajal also accused Kangrara Zila Parishad chairman Ramesh Brar, a liquor contractor, of using money to control the block unit of the BJP and funding an independent candidate. He also accused former legislator Sanjay Chaudhary of conspiring against him.
“After I got the ticket, Chaudhary chose to sit at home instead of working for the party candidate. He joined the campaign just three days before polling to show he was active,” wrote Kajal.
His letter sent directly to Nadda raised many eyebrows. Political circles are abuzz that Kajal, writing directly to the party’s national president instead of the chief minister or the state party president, reflects a lack of trust.
A complaint against the close aide of the CM also indicates that things are not well in the BJP, especially in electorally significant Kangra.
The BJP, which is looking to repeat the government in the state, is already on a sticky wicket due to plenty of rebels in the poll fray who could harm its prospects in the elections. Kajal, when contacted, said that Nadda is the party boss, so he made a complaint to him, and he has nothing against the state organisation.
Trio rubbish allegations
Meanwhile, Sharma, Brar and Chaudhary have rubbished the charges levelled by Kajal as absolute nonsense.
Sharma said that Kajal must come up with proof that he has given money to any Panchayat Pradhan. “I have done nothing against the party,” said Sharma.
Brar said that had been a loyal soldier of the party and the allegations levelled against him were wrong while Chaudhary said that the BJP candidate did not invite him to any of his election campaign-related programmes.
“I have dedicatedly performed the duty assigned to me by the party,” said Chaudhary.