BJP vs BJP In Western UP After Poll Results, And Now A Press Note Twist

Sangeet Som and Sanjeev Balyan have slammed each other over poll results

Lucknow:

The blame game between BJP leaders Sanjeev Balyan and Sangeet Som in the aftermath of the party’s poor poll show in western Uttar Pradesh has taken a new turn. A press note with Mr Som’s letterhead has accused Mr Balyan of rampant corruption, but the former has now said he issued no such statement.

The two leaders have been targeting each other after the BJP suffered a big setback in politically-significant Uttar Pradesh in this election and lost several seats in the western part of the state. The BJP lost Saharanpur, Kairana, Sambhal, Moradabad, Muzaffarnagar and Nagina seats in western UP.

Mr Balyan, a Jat leader who won Muzaffarnagar seat in the last two elections and was a Union Minister in the second Narendra Modi government, lost to Samajwadi Party’s Harendra Singh Malik this time.¬†Responding to the media’s questions on Mr Som’s remarks in the run-up to the polls, Mr Balyan earlier said he hoped that BJP leadership would take action “against those who openly campaigned for Samajwadi Party”.

Hitting back, Rajput leader and former MLA Som said he is a dedicated worker of the BJP. “I work for the lotus symbol, not for any person. The party gave me the responsibility to ensure victory in Sardhana seat. Despite difficult circumstances, BJP won the seat. He (Balyan) should introspect why he lost the election,” he said at a press meet.

Amid this exchange of barbs, a press note under Mr Som’s letterhead has accused Sanjeev Balyan of large-scale corruption. The note alleges that the former Union minister has invested in property abroad after making huge money as a central minister. This letter also mentions a plot in Australia and claims Mr Balyan bought the plot with the help of his acquaintance Sanjeev Sehrawat.

Mr Balyan has trashed the allegations and Mr Sehrawat has sent a defamation notice to Sangeet Som. Mr Sehrawat has also put out a statement in which he has trashed the allegations and said he had no such deal with Mr Balyan. He has said the allegations have maligned his image.  

Mr Som has now said that no press note was distributed during his interaction with the media on Tuesday. He has alleged that someone got the note printed under his letterhead and distributed it at the press meet as part of a conspiracy.

A police complaint has also been registered, seeking a probe into the matter. Police have filed an FIR and are scanning CCTV footage of Sangeet Som’s press meet.