The candidature of Kirron Kher from Chandigarh has caused a rift within the BJP ranks in Punjab, sources told NDTV. Kirron Kher had wrested the Chandigarh seat in 2014 from the Congress's Pawan Bansal, who won it three times in a row. But her nomination this time was announced at the last minute, over-riding the objections of the Chandigarh BJP chief Sanjay Tandon.
Mr Tandon, sources said, wanted to pitch another candidate from the seat as he does not get along with Kirron Kher.
The 63-year-old actor-politician - who is up against Pawan Bansal again -- is now facing pressure from within and outside the party, which is also affecting her campaign in the city.
Earlier this week, Kirron Kher's husband, actor Anupam Kher, was left red faced during the campaign when in front of television cameras, a shopkeeper pulled out a manifesto of the BJP from 2014 and questioned which of the party's promises have been met.
At a rally addressed by BJP chief Amit Shah on Sunday, empty chairs were noticed. People even started leaving during his address.
Anupam Kher also had to cancel his public meetings due to poor turnout in Chandigarh last week.
A press conference that was to be addressed by Ms Kher this evening got abruptly cancelled. Most BJP leaders do not wish to comment on the situation.
Of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party won four seats, the Shiromani Akali Dal won four and its ally BJP bagged two seats. The Congress won three seats. But in the 2017 assembly election in the state, the Congress had trounced the Akali-BJP combine that had ruled the state for a decade.
Chandigarh votes on May 19 in the last phase of the election, the counting of votes will take place on May 23.
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