The BJP is facing a major rebellion in more than a dozen constituencies in Uttar Pradesh over the distribution of tickets to outsiders and children of party leaders, with the crucial assembly elections to begin in over a fortnight.
From Lucknow to Bijnor and Meerut to Noida, the party is struggling with infighting, informed sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party told IANS.
But state BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya told IANS that the ticket distribution has been done keeping in view the "winnability" of candidates.
He dismissed the infighting, saying: "There is democracy in the party and everyone is allowed to put forward his or her apprehensions."
Out of the state's 403 assembly constituencies, the BJP has so far announced candidates for 371. Over 80 of these candidates are turncoats from either the Bahujan Samaj Party, Congress or Samajwadi Party.
In over one-and-half dozen assembly constituencies, the party has also sidelined local contenders to give tickets to relatives of its leaders.
In Lucknow, the erstwhile Lok Sabha constituency of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the BJP has fielded several "outsiders" angering contenders within.
Former UP Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who joined the BJP a few months ago, has been fielded from Lucknow Cantonment.
Joshi is facing tough rebellion from former BJP legislator Suresh Tiwari. The former Congress leader defeated Tiwari in the 2012 assembly elections with a margin of above 20,000 votes.
Former BSP leader Brajesh Pathak is a surprise candidate from Lucknow Central. He was accomodated by denying ticket to sitting party MLA Vidya Sagar Gupta.