Anti-Yashwant Sinha posters come up near BJP office, dub him 'backstabber', 'corrupt'

The BJP's factional feud over a second term for party president spilled on to the streets on Thursday with a poster campaign by anonymous activists against Yashwant Sinha, who demanded Nitin Gadkari's resignation a couple of days ago.

Posters carrying pictures of Sinha, declaring him to be a "backstabber", and projecting him as corrupt surfaced on Thursday here near the party headquarters. Though the posters were pulled down later, the party took some time before denouncing the anti-Sinha campaign.

With the posters not revealing the campaigners' identity, Sinha dared those behind it to face him on the issue of corruption. "I want those behind the posters to reveal their identity so that a healthy debate could start," he said, appearing to be unfazed. While he was in the Lok Sabha, party MPs noticed Sinha engaged in a discussion with party leaders Jaswant Singh and Shatrughan Sinha. Interestingly, party's Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani had claimed that all these three leaders supported his demand for Gadkari's resignation over allegations of wrongdoings in a business enterprise linked to him.

The BJP, which initially feigned ignorance about anti-Sinha posters, later condemned them. "The BJP condemns the poster that has surfaced. This appears to be a handiwork of mischievous elements and the party condemns it," said party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain.

The attack on Sinha, party leaders confided, could be by persons linked to Gadkari or the supporters of Anshuman Mishra. Earlier this year, Gadkari had wanted to send Mishra to the Rajya Sabha, but this was opposed by Sinha.

Mishra had issued a press release after Sinha demanded Gadkari's resignation. In the press release, Mishra had wanted to know why Sinha did not resign "when he was alleged to be involved in a stock market scam in the late 90s". However, Mishra denied his involvement in the poster campaign. "Where is the need for me to hide when I had issued a public statement against Sinha's remarks," Mishra said.

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