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4-member BJP panel visits Phagwara to probe party factionalism

PHAGWARA:  A four-member inquiry committee constituted by Punjab BJP chief Vijay Sampla has visited Phagwara to probe a high-voltage scuffle between two factions of the party during ‘Vijay Sankalp Yatra’ earlier this week.

The committee met leaders representing both the factions and collected evidence such as video recordings, photographs and other documents related to the incident here on January 3.

The panel said they will submit their report to party high command soon.

Factionalism in local BJP units have reigned high during the yatra led by Sampla.

On Januray 3, a faction led by contender of party ticket from Phagwara, Mohan Lal Banga, welcomed the yatra on Banga road while a rival faction of led by sitting party MLA Som Parkash Kainth welcomed it at Basra palace- a kilometre apart.

Both groups raised slogans and at one point they almost confronted each other. Using flag poles as ‘lathis’, both groups had chased the other, leading to unruly scenes.

Sampla had to cut short his yatra, without attending even a welcome programme. Displeased over the incident, Sampla formed an inquiry committee to probe the incident.

The panel comprises state vice-presidents Harjit Singh Grewal and Iqbal Singh Lalpura, secretary Anil Sachar and executive member Yagya Dutt Aeri.

Kainth did not attend the meeting last evening with the panel and his faction was represented Mayor Arun Khosla and party’s former block president Ramesh Sachdeva. Banga and block president Pankaj Chawla represented the rival faction.

Banga, the son of Ch Swarna Ram, a two-time BJP MLA from Phagwara, has the backing of Sampla. He is also a two-time Akali MLA from Banga and had joined BJP recently. (AGENCIES)

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