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Factionalism rears up in BJP’s Manipur unit

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Imphal:  The BJP, which is aiming at wresting power from the Congress in Manipur, has been hit by factionalism with a group led by a former state chief on Monday threatening to resign if any of them are denied ticket for the coming elections.

Addressing some party workers and aspiring candidates at Tera near here, Thounaojam Chaoba said: “If a single candidate from my group is denied ticket, all the like-minded members shall resign en masse. I shall also retire.”

The meeting was organised at the residence of former legislator Sapam Keba, to take stock of the Sunday incident where Keba and P. Saratchandra, both aspirants, had organised conventions on Sunday but no national or state leader attended despite promises. Eventually, irate party workers tried to storm the party head office here.

Party sources said that the state unit President K. Bhabananda did not permit holding of the conventions.

But Chaoba said that proper permission was taken from the party leaders for the events and accused vested interests of sabotaging their attempts.

“Keba had contributed a lot in popularising BJP in Manipur. But some persons who had entered the party from the backdoor are trying to rule the roost,” said Chaoba, who had recently stepped down as the party chief and has been the convenor of the BJP state election management committee.

Due to the factionalism, several BJP leaders are pitching themselves as party candidates, holding election meetings, canvassing house to house and putting up wall posters.

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