Why did a bright mind like Hardeep Singh Puri lose the poll from Amritsar?

As soon as news began trickling in that Puri was losing, messages began circulating on Whatsapp groups blaming Malik for the defeat
Factionalism in state cadres

Why did as talented and bright a minister as Hardeep Puri lose from Amritsar? The answer is one word: Factionalism. After Arun Jaitley, Puri is the second Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader to have lost the seat at the height of a Modi wave. State BJP Chief Shwet Malik and former minister Anil Joshi don’t get on. And most BJP workers believe it was Malik’s job to get Puri — not familiar with Amritsar — elected. As soon as news began trickling in that Puri was losing, messages began circulating on Whatsapp groups blaming Malik for the defeat. Apparently, other seats like Hoshiyarpur nearly fell a victim to this factionalism as well. The MP from this seat, Vijay Sampla was denied the ticket so he did no campaigning for the BJP candidate, Som Pal. It was just timely intervention by the central leadership which got Modi to campaign here and sent four union ministers to camp in the constituency until the election was over because of which the BJP won the seat.

From the campaign trail

As he landed in Varanasi to campaign for Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Shalini Yadav, party supremo Akhilesh Yadav couldn’t resist having a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cloud explanation on how the air strikes after Pulwama were delayed because of the cloud cover. Speaking to NewsX news channel on his way to Varanasi, as his plane touched the ground, he said: “Well here I am, to campaign in the PM’s constituency, without the benefit of cloud cover, aur bina kali ghataon ke (without dark clouds) but very visible on the janata ka radar.”



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