The BJP leadership has tried to contain further discord in the party witnessed after release of names of 62 candidates to contest Himachal Pradesh Assembly election on Wednesday, through its second list released on Thursday.
In the second list the BJP has accommodated former ministers Ramesh Dhwala from Dehra and Ravinder Ravi from Jwalamukhi Assembly seats. It has also decided to give tickets to the wife of former MLA Baldev Sharama’s wife Maya Sharma from Badsar constituency, Maheshwar Singh from Kullu, Prof. Ram Kumar from Haroli and Kaul Negi from Rampur constituencies.
There were reports former minister Ravinder Ravi, considered a supporter of PK Dhumal, was in touch with Congress leaders and planning to contest as Congress candidate from Sulah constituency and Dhwala as an Independent in case of denial of BJP tickets.
Dhumal and his supporters felt neglected after release of the first list of the candidates and BJP president JP Nadda met PK Dhumal in New Delhi to assuage his feelings.
The BJP leadership has denied party tickets of ten sitting MLAs and had shifted two Cabinet Ministers to new constituencies. Cabinet Minister Mahender Singh Thakur has opted out of the election race as BJP has fielded his son in Dharampur constituency.
Denial of tickets to several aspirants in the first list has created strong dissension and many BJP leaders have raised their voice. KL Thakur former Nalagarh MLA has resigned from BJP along with his supporters and decided to contest as an Independent candidate.
The sitting Dharamshala MLA Vishal Neheria and his supporters have also resigned from BJP. Daughter of Mahender Singh, Vandna Guleria has resigned from Mahila Morcha to protest allotment of ticket to her brother Rajat Thakur.
State Media in-charge and a known Dhumal supporter Praveen Sharma has also resigned from BJP and filed his nomination papers to contest as an Independent candidate against Anil Sharma from the Mandi sadar constituency on Thursday.
The supporters of Suresh Bhardwaj have also resented the decision of the party to shift him from Shimla urban constituency to Kasumpi and giving ticket to Sanjay Sood. Sitting Sarkaghat MLA Inder Singh has decided to support Chander Kant contesting as an Independent candidate, after denial of ticket to him. Son of former minister Roop Singh Thakur, Abhishek Thakur has also decided to contest as an Independent candidate.