Discontent brewing in BJP ahead of Delhi municipal elections


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The apparent attempt of BJP to reinforce its zero-tolerance policy against corruption by suspending three councillors ahead of municipal elections in the capital indicates that all is not well within the local unit of the saffron party.

Some upset BJP leaders termed the suspension a “desperate attempt” as the AAP has started mounting scathing attacks on the party over corruption in three municipal corporations. The BJP has been in power in the three civic bodies for 15 years.

Questioning the move ahead of the polls scheduled early next year, the BJP leaders added the party had been receiving complaints against councillors for more than a year and action against three elected representatives now would provide more fodder to the opposition, especially AAP, to launch a blistering attack on the BJP.  

On Sunday, Delhi BJP president Adesh Kumar Gupta suspended three councillors – Pooja Madan, Rajni Bablu Pandey and Sanjay Thakur. Hours after suspension, Madan joined the AAP. Madan said she was not allowed to “work independently and was being pestered unreasonably” and added, “I lodged my complaints to the senior leaders on occasions but failed to get relief. Hence, I decided to leave the party. They don’t have one shred of evidence against me.”

A senior BJP functionary, however, said the state leadership was aware that Madan would join the AAP. 
“The decision was directed to curtail her joining the AAP. The party was well aware of irregularities in the municipal corporations. The decision to expel three councillors will serve no purpose. It is just to settle scores,” he said.

According to another BJP functionary, Adesh Gupta was approached with complaints of involvement of councillors in corrupt practices but he didn’t heed.  He further said Sunday’s development was just a “face-saving” exercise.

“Gupta ignored complaints even from senior BJP representatives including MPs. General secretary (organisation) Siddharthan was also approached but nothing happened. Because of attitude and style of functioning, an MP has stopped interacting with Delhi BJP chief for official purposes and doesn’t invite him for party programmes in his constituency. Another MP snubbed him once publicly during a meeting,” said the BJP official.  

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