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Exit of Rohita Rewri, Wadhwa upsets ex-CM Khattar’s calculations in Karnal

2024 5largeimg 2117686674Panipat: In a setback to the saffron party during the peak of campaigning, two Punjabi leaders — a former BJP MLA of the Panipat Urban constituency, Rohita Rewri, and Manoj Wadhwa from Karnal — have joined the Congress in the last three days, upsetting former Chief Minister and BJP candidate Manohar Lal Khattar’s calculations for the Karnal Lok Sabha seat.

The BJP was hoping that Punjabi voters would not switch sides, but the recent developments have put the party on the backfoot.

To add to BJP’s worries, the outgoing MP, Sanjay Bhatia, a known face of the Punjabi community and a close aide of Khattar, is unavailable in Karnal as he is managing the elections for the party in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

With over two lakh

Punjabi voters in Panipat and Karnal district playing a big role in deciding the fate of candidates, the BJP and the Congress prefer to field Punjabi candidates from there.

Rohita had contested Assembly elections on the BJP ticket in 2014 and defeated Congress candidate Virender Singh ‘Bulle Shah’ by 53,721 votes. But the BJP dropped her in 2019, and instead fielded Pramod Vij, the then district party president.

Accusing the BJP of caste politics, she claimed that the BJP did not accord respect to the public and party workers.

“It was a war of self-respect. I was feeling ignored in the BJP for the past four and a half years,” she said.

Without taking names, she accused one or two leaders of factionalism and alleged that they also “misguided” Khattar.

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