Four BJP members of the Delhi Cantonment Board have urged the party’s Central leadership to reinstate the Board’s vice-chairman Lal Chand Mehraulia who was suspended from the party recently.

The issue assumes significance as infighting has been increasing in the party ever since it lost the Delhi Assembly and Lok Sabha elections from Delhi in quick succession.

A very senior party leader said the manner in which Mr. Mehraulia was suspended from the party was most unfortunate. He charged that by removing him the party had also done irreparable loss to its image among the Scheduled Castes in Delhi as Mr. Mehraulia, who came from the community, had been a loyal soldier of the party for over two decades.

“His removal was nothing but the whim of some party leaders who wanted to unnecessarily tinker with the structure of the Delhi Cantonment Board where the BJP had won six seats last year while two had gone to the Congress. Though he was elected to the post of vice-chairman, he was asked to step down. And when he challenged the decision saying he was elected to the post, he was suspended on disciplinary grounds,” said the party leader.

He said while it was being said that former Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan had taken the decision that the term of Delhi Cantonment Board office-bearers would be one year, Dr. Vardhan himself had never said this.

Incidentally, while Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly and senior leader V. K. Malhotra had supported Mr. Mehraulia, he was unable to save him from suspension.

Meanwhile, the party in-charge of Delhi affairs, Thawar Chand, has also been apprised by senior leaders and the party’s Cantonment Board members about the issue and it is expected that the party would look at the larger issue of Scheduled Caste votes in taking a final decision on the matter.

Sources insist the party is also concerned at the loss of two seats in the elections to the Finance Committee of the Delhi Cantonment Board recently. While with six members it should have had a cakewalk, it won just one seat on the panel as the Army officers who have eight members in the Board voted for the two Congress candidates and only one BJP member was elected.

“This clearly shows that while the people were in favour of the BJP at the time of the elections to the Delhi Cantonment Board, the Army personnel are not with us. This is a matter of concern and the party is looking at how a popular mandate got subverted,” said another leader.

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