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Posted at: Sep 13, 2017, 1:55 AM; last updated: Sep 13, 2017, 1:55 AM (IST)

BJP steps up efforts to set house in order

Tribune News Service

Gurdaspur, September 12

The BJP leadership is not only finding it difficult to keep its flock together but is also worried that its alliance partner, the SAD, may not extend support to its candidate in the faction-ridden Gurdaspur and Batala Assembly seats for the forthcoming Gurdaspur parliamentary byelection.

Under the seat-sharing agreement, the BJP will contest the seat. Local leaders accompanying Punjab affairs in-charge Prabhat Jha at meetings held in Gurdaspur and Dinanagar recently said the party was particularly worried over its prospects in these two seats.

The leaders asked workers to call a truce with the SAD. In the last elections, the local BJP had stayed away from the campaign of Gurdaspur SAD candidate GS Babbehali following which he failed to retain his seat. Some BJP leaders even went to the extent of voting for the Congress candidate to ensure Babbehali’s defeat. Jha exhorted workers to work in unison.

Jha admitted that barring the Sujanpur seat from where Dinesh Babbu won, the party failed to perform “up to the expectations”.

“The top leadership should know that if factionalism is not tackled well before the polls, the party candidate will find it difficult to sail through,” said a leader.

Swaran Salaria and Kavita Khanna, the two main contenders for the party ticket, also accompanied Jha.

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