Chandigarh, June 3
While the BJP looks to contest all 117 constituencies in next year’s Assembly elections, the party leadership is yet to come to terms with the March 27 Malout incident, wherein party MLA from Abohar Arun Narang was stripped and assaulted by angry farmers protesting three agriculture laws.
Two months after the incident, the party is yet to hold any noticeable public activity or meeting with local leaders. As farm leaders have been quite vocal about targeting BJP leaders in their area, local leaders say the state leadership has been forced to hold secret meetings with party workers.
A member of the state executive said the party had already suffered a setback in the local bodies’ elections in February. “The Malout incident has created a fear not only among BJP leaders but also workers. Nobody wants to take a chance,” he said.
During the local bodies’ elections, the party had struggled to select candidates. A leader from Malwa said there was hardly any party activity in the region over the past two months. “There a strong support for farmers’ movement in our area. Even senior leaders are shying away from visiting the area. And if they do, it is kept a closely guarded secret to avoid any unwanted attention,” he said. BJP state president Ashwani Sharma could not be contacted for comment. In the February elections, the party suffered a defeat with just 48 out of over 1,000 candidates in the fray managing to win. Not a single party candidate could win in seven districts. — TNS
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