BJP sets up damage control committee to quell rebellion


Alarmed by increasing dissidence within the ranks of the Delhi unit of the BJP, the party on Saturday turned to senior leader Arun Jaitley to do some damage control.

The party has been facing open rebellion from several of its senior state leaders ever since the list of party nominees for the December 4 Assembly polls was announced on November 6.

Irked with the way the tickets were distributed, many senior Delhi BJP leaders had resigned from the party over the last two days. Jaitley and the central leadership have now constituted a damage control committee, which will be headed by Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel.

The 20-member committee was formed on Saturday after Jaitley held lengthy discussions with several sulking leaders at the Pandit Pant Marg office of the state unit.

Senior leaders including former state unit chief O P Kohli, vice-president Anil Jain, senior leaders Meera Agarwal and Yogendra Chandolia are part of the 20-member unit.

Sources said Jaitley held talks with various factions and asked them to ensure the party's victory in the forthcoming Assembly polls.

According to sources in the BJP, Jaitley told all present that 'rebellion' and 'dissatisfaction' with ticket distribution were two different things.

"He said the party needs to ensure that there was no rebellion and insisted that all dissatisfied leaders be brought back to the fold. He also insisted that the party cadre should prepare and fight elections as a united force to overthrow the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government," a senior BJP leader said.

The committee is now expected to hold talks with dissident factions and put an end to the ongoing rebellion against the state unit.

Senior party leaders said Jaitley's visit had an effect almost immediately.

"Jaitley held talks with former mayor Savita Gupta, who had resigned on Friday after being denied a ticket, and ensured that she withdrew her resignation," a leader said.

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