Infighting in the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of municipal elections in the national capital cost a party worker his life when he was stabbed to death allegedly by some people after an argument with sitting party councillor and candidate.
The incident took place in north Delhi's Model Town on Tuesday night and sitting councillor Madhav Prasad, 47, who is contesting as party candidate from Sangam Park, was detained by police following the death of Jai Prakash, police said on Wednesday.
This is the first incidence of election-related violence reported in the capital ahead of the April 15 polls. The incident will embarrass BJP, which is already fighting rebellion from within following distribution of party tickets.
Prakash was also an aspirant for a party ticket from the same ward but the party overlooked him and gave the ticket to the sitting councillor. Both were said to be not on good terms following this.
A senior police official said the Prakash and Prasad had an altercation at a party workers' meeting on Tuesday following which Prakash was stabbed. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday morning.
"It is not clear whether Prasad stabbed the victim. We have detained and questioning him," the official said.
The victim's brother Virendra Yadav alleged that Prakash was stabbed by two men in the presence of Prasad.
"Four of us were walking when Prakash came and blocked our way. He told us that we don't need to work for BJP and asked us to leave. We retorted that this place was not their's and refused to leave. He called more people. Two of them got hold of Prakash and another stabbed," Yadav alleged.
According to the affidavit filed by Prasad while filing nominations, he does not have any cases registered against him.
Senior BJP leader Vijay Goel said there was a fight between two groups and in that dispute, he might have been murdered. "But it is not right to say that Prasad killed him before conclusion of investigation," he said.
Asked whether it was embarrassment for the party, he said,
"Thats right. It is the first time a violent incident in MCD polls."
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief J P Agarwal said there was no place for violence in democracy.
"There are so many people asking for party tickets, it does not mean you should take revenge. It is a bad time. I think they should control its candidates and workers.
"They should withdraw candidates who indulge in anti-social activities like this. Party should take a stand on this," he said.