With the BJP leadership yet to decide on its candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, several leaders of the ruling party in Haryana are staking their claims for the Karnal ticket.
Karnal is believed to be the safest Lok Sabha seat for the BJP in Haryana as chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar represents this constituency and the aspirants have got a boost since the party managed to win mayoral elections in Karnal and Panipat municipal corporations last year.
After former Congress leader and two-time Karnal MP Arvind Sharma has joined the BJP in the presence of chief minister Khattar in Delhi, several local leaders of the party have become active and started lining up for the BJP ticket.
Among the ticket aspirants are Kiran Chopra, wife of outgoing MP Ashwini Chopra and Sugerfed chairman Chander Prakash Kathuria.
“Yes, I am also an aspirant for the ticket from the Karnal Lok Sabha seat, but the decision would be taken by the party leadership and we would respect that decision,” said Chander Prakash Kathuria.
When asked if the party ticket was being given to any outsider, he said, “We would accept the decision of the party and would ensure our support to the candidate.”
Since sitting MP Ashwini Chopra is unable to contest due to health issues, his wife, Kiran, who runs a social organisation, has already expressed her desire to contest. “If the sangh, sangathan and chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar want me to contest, I am ready to contest,” she said.
There were even reports that Union minister Maneka Gandhi and Haryana education minister Ram Bilas Sharma have been eyeing the Karnal seat.
‘History of electing outsiders’
Though there has been no official confirmation from the Maneka Gandhi and Ram Bilas Sharma side yet, local BJP leaders believe that BJP’s ticket from Karnal seat is a ticket to parliament and that is why several leaders are in fray as Karnal has a history of electing an outsider.
“We welcome all the leaders who are joining the party and showing their strength in Karnal. But workers will support the candidate who will be fielded by the party”, said BJP’s Karnal president Jagmohan Anand.
Arvind Sharma’s roadshow in Karnal
Despite no formal confirmation, Arvind Sharma has already started his campaign in Karnal by holding a roadshow wherein he toured several parts of the constituency. Many Congress workers associated with him welcomed him in Karnal and Panipat.
He started his roadshow from Kundli border in Sonepat on Tuesday morning and concluded it in Karnal by the evening.
“We have served people for 15 years and now people are showing their love. That is why I have decided to meet my workers and supporters,” he said, and added that he joined the party unconditionally and would do whatever duty the leadership assigns to him.
Sharma said he would hold a rally in Karnal on March 24 and senior party leaders will be attending the event.
Mar 20, 2019 14:17 IST