BJP workers stage protests at BJP Office in Delhi, Police Called for control

New Delhi, Shyam Balasubramanian(NDTV): Supporters of the BJP’s Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay gathered outside the party office in the capital this evening in loud protest against what they call the “sidelining” of their leader.

The BJP had announced yesterday that Mr Upadhyay would not contest the assembly elections. It also announced that former top cop Kiran Bedi, who joined the party just last week, will be the BJP’s candidate for chief minister.

At the BJP office today, a scuffle broke out and the police had to be called in to restore order after even Mr Upadhyay’s attempts to pacify the agitated workers came to naught.
Protests at BJP Office in Delhi, Police Called In

While the party says that Mr Upadhyay is being kept out of contesting elections so that he can supervise the campaign for the BJP, the move is being seen as an attempt to ensure that party workers do not have multiple command centres to focus on.

The Congress is witnessing a similar upheaval, with many supporters of the Congress Delhi chief Arvinder Singh Lovely up in arms over the decision that he will not contest elections.

In that party, former union minister Ajay Maken has been brought back into the state unit after many years to serve as the party’s face in these elections.

Senior leaders in the BJP are reportedly upset at Ms Bedi being para-dropped into their midst as their leader, but the party leadership has effectively quelled voices of dissent and made clear that Ms Bedi must be given full support as the party tries to win a majority in the elections, to be held in February 7.