A stone’s throw away from where BJP president Amit Shah was holding a high- level meeting, two party MLAs poured their woes over being denied tickets and said they wanted to know the reason from the leadership.
Shah, according to sources, discussed party strategy, campaign and issues for the Bihar battle. Just outside the gate of the Maurya Hotel, where the meeting was being held, a few men stood silently holding a banner asking the party to take back the ticket given to a former JD-U leader in Kosi district.
But, the protests get overshadowed in the aggressive poster war– prime minister Narendra Modi versus chief minister Nitish Kumar– that has peppered the city.
Yet, sitting in an old austere bungalow, disgruntled BJP MLAs– Vikram Kunwar and Surinder Prasad Sinha– are waiting to hear from the party.
While Kunwar, a three- time MLA from Raghunathpur is waiting to meet Shah, Sinha, legislator from Gurwa, says he does not want to complain to anyone. Both claim they spent all their money in the campaign confident they would be given tickets. They are among the 19 BJP MLAs denied tickets.
“The political school I studied in I was not taught sycophancy. Those who indulged in it got tickets,” said 65-year-old Sinha. The ticket from his seat was given to Rajeev Ranjan, an ‘unknown’ face in his constituency, according to Sinha.
Kunwar, 60, said he was assured a ticket but the same evening he got to know from television news that it was given to former JD-U leader Manoj Singh. “The party could have informed us,” he said.
Reflecting BJP MP R K Singh’s controversial remark that party tickets were sold, he said several ‘moneyed’ candidates had been chosen.
The party’s argument is that the selection of candidates was done on the basis of an internal survey.
Kunwar, who was state party president in the early eighties, denies the survey giving him just 17 per cent against 70 per cent for Manoj Singh.
But, the poll scene is already hotting up in the city, as large images of Modi and Nitish Kumar look down from every street, both promising development.