Chandigarh, Jan 4: Rift within the BJP's Chandigarh unit came to the fore after the outgoing BJP's Mayor Asha Kumari Jaswal filed nomination papers as an Independent candidate against the party's official nominee.
The BJP leadership yesterday announced the name of Davesh Moudgil, who is considered close to former MP Satya Pal Jain, ignoring the camp led by Chandigarh BJP President Sanjay Tandon, which was backing Councillor Arun Sood. The saffron party has an overwhelming majority in the MC House and the election is scheduled to be held on January 9.
Cracks surfaced within the Chandigarh unit of the party after senior leader and in-charge of the unit, Prabhat Jha announced Moudgil's name as the party's official mayoral candidate. Moudgil filed his nomination at the MC office here while Jaswal, who is also the BJP's Mahila Morcha Vice president, filed her nomination for the Mayor's post as an Independent candidate. When contacted, Jaswal said that out of 20 BJP members in the MC House, 14 were not in favour of the present candidature.
"We had been requesting our party that they can field anyone for Mayor's post minus Moudgil. Yesterday at last moment, we told Mr Jha to announce anyone else's name except him. However, we were ignored and Moudgil's name was announced," she said.
Asked why were they opposing Moudgil, Jaswal said: "he has been going against party's interests at various forums..there are other issues involving him".
Making it clear that she has not resigned from the BJP, Jaswal said the party is free to take any action against her.
"I am pained to do so, but then what is the choice. My ideology will remain that of the BJP whether I am in it or outside, if they feel I have done anything wrong, they can take action. But I will remain Modi ji's fan and continue to respect Amit Shah ji," Jaswal said.
When asked to comment on the development, Chandigarh BJP President Sanjay Tandon said the issue could have been handled in a better way.
"Even I was not taken into confidence when his (Moudgil's) name was decided. There are many things against him (Moudgil). Majority of our Councillors were in favour of anyone except him...," Tandon said.
Without naming anyone, Tandon in a veiled attack on his detractors within the party's Chandigarh unit, said, "some people want to destabilise me."
Meanwhile Jain came to Moudgil's defence, saying he had never done anything against party's interests. About the current developments, Jain said he hopes that the issue will be resolved amicably. "There is still time till January 9 morning for the withdrawals," he said, indicating that Jaswal will be prevailed upon to exit from the race.