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Severe Infighting in Gujarat BJP, Reports of Workers Being Hospitalised in Amreli

Reports say at least six seats including those in Sabarkantha, Rajkot, Vadodara, and Valsad districts are facing trouble with BJP workers protesting openly.
BJP State Office, Gujarat. Photo: X@BJP4Gujarat

New Delhi: For the first time in decades, say analysts, the Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat is facing serious internal resistance to choice of candidates and political decisions made by the top leadership.

The Hindu reports that fights amongst factions in Amreli ended up with many political workers of the BJP in hospital. A local leader told the newspaper that as the BJP had dropped the sitting MP, Naranbhai Kachhadiya, “severe infighting” had erupted between supporters of the outgoing MP and those of the new party nominee, Bharat Sutariya. Clashes broke out over the weekend, on March 30, Saturday late night. The newspaper says Kachhadiya was also rushed to the hospital. Video clips can be seen with “a few injured party members lying on beds in a hospital.”

At least five other BJP candidates for the 26 Lok Sabha seats, set to go to polls on May 7, are facing dissent and open protests. These include seats in Sabarkantha, Rajkot, Vadodara, and Valsad districts. In addition, a letter has gone viral on social media, which asks the BJP state president, C.R. Patil, to change the party’s Junagadh candidate, Rajesh Chudasama. “He has not done a single worth mentioning developmental work in Junagadh, nor has he taken any interest in conveying the central and state government schemes to the beneficiaries,” says the letter.

Resistance from local leaders had already led to a change in the party candidate in Vadodara, Ranjan Bhatt. Now, there is growing demand to replace the new candidate, Dr Hemang Joshi, writes The New Indian Express. The Hindu writes that BJP party workers have clashed “over the candidature of Bharat Sutariya in Amreli instead of sitting MP Naran Kachchdiya; cadre remain upset over Sabarkantha candidate as well.”

Karni Sena chief resigns in protest

The furore caused by disparaging remarks to the Rajput community by Union minister and Rajkot BJP Lok Sabha candidate Parshottam Rupala refuses to die down. Dainik Jagran reported on March 29 that the Congress had registered a defamation case in a local Rajkot court.

Raj Shekhawat on Saturday resigned from the BJP in protest after Rupala, speaking at a public event, had claimed several Rajput rulers ‘collaborated with the British’, a statement that caused anger and drew widespread condemnation from community members. Shekhawat is also national president of a faction of the Karni Sena, an outfit which claims to be one of the Rajput or Kshatriya community. He had joined the BJP before the Assembly polls in 2022.

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