Sunday, January 18, 2015

Over 200 members of Bharuch Ankleshwar unit of the BJP resign over communal clashes

The Bharuch Ankleshwar unit of the BJP is witnessing a major revolt with over 200 party workers, including the Hansot taluka president, a taluka panchayat member and the president of the Ankleshwar nagarpalika, tendering their “resignation” from the party, stating that they have “no answers to people’s questions” about clashes that broke out in Ambheta village on the occasion of Makar Sankranti on January, 14 killing three. On Sunday, a major revolt occurred as angry BJP leaders resigned from the party in protest of the “failure” of the administration to curb the spreading violence in Hansot.

Those who conveyed their resignation to the Bharuch district party president included Hansoy BJP taluka president Ramesh Patel, Ankleshwar nagarpalika president Pushpa Makwana, taluka panchayat sarpanch Hasmukh Patel and close to 200 party workers. According to party members, Bharuch MLA from Hansot Ishwar Patel, too, was under tremendous pressure to tender his resignation from the group over his failure to act despite their “pleas” to curb the tension in Hansot.

A letter written by Hasmukh Patel to Bharuch District party president Yogesh Patel said, “Despite our repeated pleas to the office- bearers, government and the party leaders about an air of communal tension being prevalent in Hansot, no timely action was taken, resulting in the clash on January 14 that killed innocent people. We were not given a hearing with the CM nor was our plea forwarded to the right officers by the party. Given the communal clash,people have been accusing the office bearers of the party of shielding anti-social elements and we are unable to provide them any explanation or pacify them. Thus, all officer bearers, executives and workers tender their resignation from the party.” Immediately, an urgent emergency meeting was convened on Sunday evening in Bharuch headed by Yogesh Patel, who refused to accept the resignations.

Bharuch BJP general- secretary Janakkumar Shah, who is also from Ankeshwar, said the leaders were agitated, but have been assured that their complaint would be conveyed to the state party executive. Shah said, “The leaders brought their resignation as they are disturbed by the clashes. The meeting was convened to hear out their complaints. The party has not yet accepted the resignations.”

Yogesh Patel, who had recently taken over as the district party president, said, “The leaders had come to me with their complaint about the failure of the administration to take timely action in Hansot and I have assured them that I would personally take their grievances to the state executive tomorrow. No resignations have occurred.”

On Saturday, BJP ‘sBharuch MP Mansukh Vasava had blamed the police for the clash. “The police have failed to control the situation. If they had been vigilant, keeping in mind the recent previous clash, this communal clash would not have occurred,” he said. Bharuch SP Bipin Ahire denied the charges of the political leaders and said, “No one has directly approached me to raise an issue over the situation. Yes, tension was prevalent in the area since the first communal clash in December over the circulation of a WhatsApp message and there has been heavy police presence in the area ever since. We controlled the clash within two hours.” While Pratik Patel (29) and Sandeep Chhana Patel (32) were stabbed to death after a fight over catching a kite, Rafik Shaikh succumbed to his injuries