A battle of attrition has started among the BJP leaders in Delhi over the party's stance on the issue of power tariff hike. While Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta had issued a show-cause notice to MCD House Leader Subhash Arya for not toeing the party line on the issue, a delegation of senior MCD leaders met party patriarch L. K. Advani recently to present their case.

Sources said while a decision had been taken at a party meeting to oppose Municipal Commissioner K. S. Mehra's assertion that the billboards and hoardings of BJP installed at various places had been removed on the directions of the Delhi Mayor since the latter's order actually pertained to only illegal hoardings and for its advertisements BJP had paid Rs.15 lakh to the authorities, the senior MCD leaders did not take the matter seriously.

“Till the time the Municipal Commissioner came out in defence of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who had got the hoardings removed, we had got the momentum on the issue going. But rather than keeping up the pressure on the Government on the issue by stalling the proceedings in MCD House and raising the matter vehemently, we allowed the issue to slip out of our hands by not mounting enough pressure,” said a senior party leader.

Feeling that some of the senior MCD leaders had deliberately violated the party directives – issued at a meeting that was also attended by Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly V. K. Malhotra – the party president issued a show-cause notice to Mr. Arya. While some in the party believe that this situation was avoidable, others are of the view that “gross indiscipline” could not be tolerated.

The issue has left the party divided down the middle. All the three senior party leaders from MCD – Mayor Prithviraj Sawhney, Deputy Mayor Rajesh Gehlot and Leader of MCD House Subhash Arya – met Mr. Advani to complain about the manner in which the notice had been issued.

Amid all this controversy, the issue of removal of the party's hoardings, which sought to mount pressure on the Delhi Government to reduce the power tariff, appears to have taken the backseat.

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