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Business News/ Politics / News/  Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Here's why BJP is facing dissent in these states ahead of polls

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Here's why BJP is facing dissent in these states ahead of polls

While some of the party’s prominent leaders have joined the opposition ranks, others have decided to contest against the saffron party independently due to the growing dissent.

Lok Sabha Elections: Unpacking dissent and defections within BJP ranks in many states as Lok Sabha polls loomPremium
Lok Sabha Elections: Unpacking dissent and defections within BJP ranks in many states as Lok Sabha polls loom

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is faced with infighting, dissent and defections in many states as it goes to the Lok Sabha elections 2024 seeking a record third term for its government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

While some of the party’s prominent leaders have joined the opposition ranks, others have decided to contest against the saffron party independently due to the growing dissent.

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Most of the resentment stems from the choice of candidates that the BJP has made. The party has roughly dropped one fourth of the sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) in the names of the candidates released so far for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Here's a state-by-state analysis: 

KS Eshwarappa in Karnataka

In Karnataka, the state where the BJP won 25 of 28 seats in 2019, resentment has been evident ever since the first list of candidates from this crucial southern state was released in the second week of March.

Former Deputy Chief Minister KS Eshwarappa is among the top leaders who have revolted against the party in Karnataka. Eshwarappa is unhappy with former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa after his son KE Kantesh did not feature in the March 13 list. He wanted the BJP to field his son from the Haveri Lok Sabha seat. However, the party fielded former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai from the seat.

Eshwarappa, 76, has said he will contest independently from Shivamogga against BY Raghvendra, son of Yediyurappa. A popular face among the OBCs coming from the Kuruba community, Eshwarappa is often regarded as one of the key leaders who helped the BJP expand in Karnataka, the only state in the south where it has a considerable presence.

 Also Read: Lok Sabha Elections 2024 : Resentment in Karnataka BJP over first list of Lok Sabha candidates

Eshwarappa has said that he will win the seat and dedicate his victory to PM Modi. The BJP has written to the Election Commission to ensure that Eshwarappa does not use PM Modi's photo during his election campaign.

Voting for 28 Lok Sabha seats of Karnataka will be held in two phases on April 26 and May 7. Shivamogga will go to polls on May 7.

Santosh Gangwar in Uttar Pradesh

The BJP has faced dissent in Uttar Pradesh, the most crucial political state that sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha. The discontent was triggered after the party denied a Lok Sabha ticket to Santosh Gangwar, a former minister and Bareilly's sitting MP. Gangwar resigned as Union Labour Minister ahead of the Lok Sabhe polls. 

Last week, supporters of Santosh Gangwar, a Kurmi leader who was allegedly insulted by Bareilly mayor Umesh Gautam, staged a protest outside the home of BJP's state president Bhupendra Chaudhary over the "insult." 

The BJP has dropped at least nine sitting MPs in UP, including Gangwar, Varun Gandhi and General (retd) VK Singh. There have been signs of dissent over ticket distribution in some other areas of Western Uttar Pradesh too. 

Also Read:  Lok Sabha Election 2024: Maneka, Varun Gandhi skip PM Modi's first-ever rally in Pilibhit | Here's why

On April 7, the Rajputs convened a Mahapanchayat in Saharanpur. The community is reportedly not happy with the choice of candidates.  The replacement of General (retd) VK Singh with Atul Kumar Garg in Ghaziabad is a case in point, according to the reports. Other communities such as Tyagis and Sainis have also organised panchayats in UP to express their grievances.

Birendra Singh in Haryana

The BJP faced a set back in Haryana after its Jat MP, Brijendra Singh, from Hisar joined the Congress. His father and former Union Minister Birender Singh also joined the Congress, adding to the BJP's woes in the state among the Jat community. 

Birender Singh was the Union Steel Minister in the first government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has also held the charge as Minister of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, and Drinking Water and Sanitation. He extended his support to the farmers during the protests against the now-repealed farm laws. He is the grandson of the popular Jat leader Sir Chhotu Ram, also considered a ‘messiah’ of farmers.

Some reports suggested that the powerful Bishnoi family, too, is not happy with the BJP in Haryana. Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhajan Lal's son and BJP leader Kuldeep Bishnoi posted on social media that his supporters were disappointed over the ticket distribution for Hisar

Ire against Parshottam Rupala in Gujarat

The BJP is also facing an internal crisis in Gujarat, the home turf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The state sends 26 members to Lok Sabha and has been a BJP stronghold for close to three decades.

Gujarat has witnessed strikes, rallies, posters and effigy burning over BJP's selection of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.  The state’s party chief CR Paatil on April 10 warned BJP leaders that no groupism will be tolerated in the state amid growing discontent in local units. Paatil’s warning comes days after BJP candidates in Vadodara and Sabarkantha seats Ranjan Bhatt and Bhikhaji Thakor withdrew their nominations for the May 7 Lok Sabha election. 

Also Read: Lok Sabha Elections 2024: 5 explosive crisis factors in Gujarat BJP

There have been protests from the members of Kshatriya (Rajput) community demanding that the party withdraw Union Minister Parshottam Rupala's candidature from Rajkot over his “anti-Rajput" remarks. Rupala triggered a row on March 22 when he was heard saying in a video that “kings bowed to the British" and “even gave their daughters to them in marriage."

However, a report in Economic Times said that the crisis will be resolved once Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigns in his home state. 

Maheshwar Singh in Himachal Pradesh

In Himachal Pradesh, the candidature of actor Kangana Ranaut from Mandi has not gone down well with the party’s old guard. Three-time MP Maheshwar Singh, a forerunner for the Mandi ticket from BJP, was reportedly miffed for being snubbed. 

Some reports suggest that Singh and his supporters have now decided to support Kangana Ranaut in her campaign. 

Apart from these instances, the BJP has faced dissent elsewhere as well. In Rajasthan, for example, sitting Churu MP Rahul Kaswan moved to the Congress, potentially affecting the party’s support among Jats. Kaswan was miffed after the party replaced him with Devendra Jhajharia for the seat.

Kaswan is the son of Ram Singh Kaswan, who won the Churu seat thrice between 1999 and 2009.   



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Published: 12 Apr 2024, 11:40 AM IST
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