secret BJP Jubbal failed to persuade his rebel from Kotkhai, Chetan Bragata, to withdraw his nomination in favor of BJP’s official candidate Neelam Saraik.
Wednesday was the last date for withdrawal of nominations and Bragata did not withdraw her nomination papers.
Now, there will be a triangular contest in Jubbal Kotkhai assembly constituency as Bragata, son of former MLA Narendra Bragata, is contesting as an independent candidate.
Earlier, the BJP leadership had asked two-time MLA from Arki seat, Gobind Ram Sharma, not to file his nomination papers as a rebel. Sharma was persuaded by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur.
BJP national president JP Nadda had directed the state leadership to pacify him and his supporters to persuade Chetan Bragata to withdraw his nomination in favor of party candidate Neelam Saraik.
Even CM Jai Ram Thakur and BJP president Suresh Kashyap had approached Bragata. But all the efforts of the party leadership failed.
Pradeep Chauhan, former chief economic advisor of Jai Ram government and a relative of Chetan Bragta, said that Power Minister Sukhram Chaudhary and BJP MLA from Chaupal Balbir Verma also contacted Bragta several times.
Other BJP leaders also reached out to him and his supporters in various ways to withdraw their nominations.
After the death of former BJP MLA Narendra Bragata, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and other leaders had allowed Chetan Bragata to share the stage during public meetings for the last two and a half months. Not only this, he was virtually declared a BJP candidate in these meetings. Bragata had also started her own campaign, but she was refused a ticket by the party.
Narendra Bragta and his family are considered close to former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.
Meanwhile, supporters of Chetan Bragta are blaming Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj for not giving the ticket.
After filing his nomination on October 8, Bragata had said in a public meeting that he would strengthen the BJP in the state by winning the seat. The Returning Officer of Jubbal Kotkhai Assembly Constituency has allotted them.Apple‘ as an election symbol.