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Rivals absent as Vijender takes over

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In the hot seat: Newly appointed Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta taking charge on Saturday.
In the hot seat: Newly appointed Delhi BJP president Vijender Gupta taking charge on Saturday.

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar

NEW DELHI: Three-time Councillor and former Chairperson of MCD Standing Committee Vijender Gupta took over as the new president of Delhi BJP at a function at the State Headquarters of the party here on Saturday. Signalling that all was not well within the party, none of the leaders who were in the fray for the post attended the programme.

While the function was attended Last year, the onset was forecast for May 26 but monsoon arrived on May 23by national general secretary and in-charge of Delhi Thawar Chand Gehlot, Leader of Opposition in Assembly V.K. Malhotra and former presidents Harsh Vardhan and Mange Ram Garg, the absence of national general secretary Vijay Goel, senior leader Nand Kishore Garg, MLAs Jagdish Mukhi and Karan Singh Tanwar and former MLA Vijay Jolly – who were all in the race for the top party unit post – raised eyebrows.

Addressing a press conference upon taking over the reins of the beleaguered party unit, Mr. Gupta said BJP believed in “collective leadership'' and was not a one-person, family-based or dynastic party.

He said the party has consultative sessions on various issues and it would be wrong to construe the difference of opinion expressed in them as infighting.

About the absence of his opponents, particularly Vijay Goel, at the function, Mr Gupta said he had received a congratulatory call from Mr. Goel who had promised to work with him for the betterment of the organisation.

Stating that the most important issue for him is inflation and price rise, he called upon Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to follow “raj dharma'' of service to the people and declared that his party wanted the Government to check price rise and roll back the hike in diesel prices. “I want the Government to bring a policy to check this trend.''

Mr Gupta said he would constitute his team as soon as possible. As for the performance of the party in the MCD, he charged that it was primarily due to the Delhi Government that the Corporation has been sacrificed at the altar of politics.

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