Squabbles amongst senior BJP leaders and Sangh Parivar affiliates have surfaced ahead of BJP President Amit Shah’s visit to Uttarakhand on September 19. Latest in the series of incidents was a violent clash between BJP MLA Swami Yatishwarnand and workers of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of RSS in Haridwar on September 9.
The ABVP workers and supporters of Swami Yatishwaranand, the BJP legislator from Haridwar rural assembly segment, clashed following the defeat of ABVP candidate in the student union election of Gurukul Kangri university, an ABVP strong hold. The ABVP presidential candidate Tarun Chauhan lost to independent candidate Vikram Bhullar by a huge margin triggering the clashes as ABVP cadres blamed local MLA of supporting the rival candidate. The student union elections were held on Friday.
The ABVP cadres protested against the legislator and burnt his effigy in front of his Shankar Ashram. This angered the MLA, who threw the burning effigy at the BJP students. The ABVP workers also tried to vandalise his ashram. The situation turned violent when a fight broke out between the two groups and the police had to be called in to intervene.
A case was lodged against the rampaging ABVP workers by Swami Yatishwaranand at Jawalapur police station. Swami Yatishwaranand alleged that it a conspiracy against him and the allegations against him are false and baseless. He said he would bring the matter to the notice of the party office-bearers. The clash came on the heels of a similar clash between the supporters of Uttarakhand Tourism Minister Satpal Maharaj and Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik over flooding of a locality close to Madan Kaushik’s residence at Haridwar. Supporters of Madan Kaushik had alleged that the wall constructed by Satpal Maharaj around his ashram in Haridwar had caused the flood. Manoj Garg, mayor of Haridwar and Kaushik’s protege was injured in the clash. The supportes had gotten garbage thrown outside Satpal Maharaj’s ashram.
In another incident few days ago, Dehradun Mayor Vinod Chamoli who is also a legislator also had a fiery exchange of words with Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on telephone over the attitude of bureaucrats. Vinod Chamoli was incensed over the absence of Dehradun District Magistrate when he had gone to meet him.