BJP suffers jolt in Chhattisgarh as senior quits party

November 1st, 2008 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyRaipur, Nov 1 (IANS) The rumblings of discontent in Chhattisgarh’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came out in the open with senior leader Virendra Pandey resigning from the party Saturday on being denied nomination for the forthcoming assembly polls. He has called the state party leadership “incapable and biased”.Pandey, a former Jan Sangh leader and the BJP’s founder member, resigned from the party’s primary membership.

Last week, Pandey had asked the party to allow him to contest from Raipur city (west). However, the party has fielded Industry Minister Rajesh Munat instead.

In his resignation letter to party president Rajnath Singh, the 57-year-old BJP veteran, who has a strong base in the Brahmin community, said: “I was left with no option but to quit the party as the state leadership is incapable and biased and takes decisions on personal basis rather than party interests.”

Pandey has announced he will contest as an Independent from Raipur city (west).

Pandey has a clean image among the BJP rank and party leaders claim he was not considered as a candidate for the polls due to his “outburst against majority of state leaders from time to time though his remarks were on genuine issues”.

Pandey had several times placed the ruling party in an awkward situation when he asked it to explain his charges on corruption-related issues.

Pandey told IANS: “Enough is enough, no need to stay in a party that has disrespect for seniors. I am not in politics for one or two years, I am a leader since the Jan Sangh period.”

Pandey’s resignation has reportedly hurt several party seniors though they have avoided rallying behind him.

Earlier, as many as eight sitting legislators have threatened to “work against the party’s official candidates in next month’s polls if they continue to be overlooked”.

The state goes to polls Nov 14 for 39 seats, while elections will be held for the remaining 51 seats Nov 20.

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