October 24, 2018

Arrest unveils BJP infighting

Patna: The arrest of Ritesh Sharma, a BJP leader supposedly related to a senior state BJP leader, has exposed internal bickering in the party.

Sharma, an undergraduate student, had at the behest of some senior BJP leaders put up posters in Boring Road area against BJP organisational secretary Nagendra Nath Tripathi, popular as Nagendra ji, a day before BJP national president Amit Shah visited Patna. Kotwali police arrested Ritesh from Shastri Nagar area on Tuesday evening.

BJP leaders had removed the posters and later the BJP’s organisational secretary lodged a complaint at Kotwali police station. “The police have arrested Ritesh and recovered some documents from his possession,” Patna SSP Manu Maharaaj said. Ritesh has been booked under Section 417 (punishment for cheating), 418 (cheating), 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“Ritesh is a relative of the BJP’s former state general secretary Sudhir Sharma,” a senior officer from Kotwali police station who is looking after the investigation said on condition of anonymity. “The boy has confessed he was directed by Sudhir, his maternal uncle, to put up the posters. The boy also confessed that Vikash Singh, a city-based builder, provided him financial assistance to put up the posters.”

The posters put up at a few places near Boring road roundabout had pictures and slogans making a direct attack on Nagendra’s personal and political life. When BJP workers got to know of the posters, they hurriedly removed them.

Nagendra, the BJP’s organisational secretary, is a senior state BJP leader. Sudhir, whom Ritesh named, was a general secretary in the state BJP leader but is keeping a low profile ever since he was removed and made convener, policy analysis and reaction cell. He has, however, refuted Ritesh’s charge.

“I’ve no direction relationship with him. I know him as he is from my caste,” he said, adding that the police forced Ritesh, at the behest of some BJP leaders, to name him. He said senior leaders should look into the matter or it will deepen fissures in the party.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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