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'Jinnah supporters and 80+ leaders must leave BJP'

Last updated on: March 21, 2012 18:32 IST

'Jinnah supporters and 80+ leaders must leave BJP'

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi

Anshuman Mishra, the Independent candidate for Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand who is in the thick of a controversy for getting the support from Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs, has left the saffron party in a spot of bother.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari's decision not to re-nominate veteran leader SS Ahluwalia to the Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand and instead naming Mishra for the seat had already created tensions within the party.

On Wednesday, the 37-year-old hit the headlines with his sensational remarks.

Mishra created a flutter within the BJP circles when he advised 'Jinnah supporters' and 'persons over 80' (indirect reference to LK Advani and Yashwant Sinha) to quit politics and take rest.

His remarks, however, have not gone down well with the BJP top brass. BJP MLAs have now decided not to vote for the NRI candidate.

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Image: Video grab of Anshuman Mishra


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"BJP leaders who are 85 years old and are admirers of Jinnah should think of retirement now," Mishra had said, adding, "These are deadwood, eating into the party system."

Mishra, a Non-Resident Indian businessman who resides in New York and London, told rediff.com that his name came up for consideration only after Ahluwalia decided against contesting the Rajya Sabha seat.

"Let me clarify that Ahluwalia was not interested in contesting from Jharkhand. It is then that I came into the picture," he told rediff.com over telephone from Ranchi.

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Image: File photo of SS Ahluwalia


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Though he had expressed his willingness to withdraw from the contest on Tuesday, he has now changed the tune and declared that he is not withdrawing unless Gadkari tells him to do so.

"I have not spoken to him for the last three days, but would call him on Thursday morning (the last date of withdrawal of names) before deciding what to do. The party has not instructed me in this regard so far," Mishra said.

In response to a question on the support he was receiving from BJP leaders despite not being a member of the party, he said: "My brother Rajiv Mishra contested on a BJP ticket from Devaria for the state assembly, but lost the election. He is a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member."

"I have worked in Jharkhand over the past 12 months working with these regional leaders. I knew that I will have a chance of getting in the Rajya Sabha if I had local leaders' access and acceptance."

He maintained he worked with BJP as the party leadership knew of his credentials and he was quite convinced of its support.

Meanwhile, Yashwant Sinha has been strongly opposing Mishra's candidature and alleged that the party has put a price tag on its MLAs.

 




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