Put new districts’ issue on back burner: Gadkari tells Dhumal

After two rounds of talks with Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar,party national president Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday reportedly asked the two leaders to avoid public confrontations on issues concerning the state,especially on the creation of new districts,ahead of the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Shimla | Published:June 20, 2012 12:06 am

After two rounds of talks with Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar,party national president Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday reportedly asked the two leaders to avoid public confrontations on issues concerning the state,especially on the creation of new districts,ahead of the forthcoming Assembly elections.

While saying that he will hold another meeting with them next week,Gadkari told Dhumal and Kumar to try to create an atmosphere of a meaningful dialogue by resolving their differences in the larger interests of the party,said sources. “Things,if needed,will be corrected to restore your confidence in each other,” he reportedly told the duo.

According to sources,Gadkari gave a patient hearing to Kumar’s angry outburst and appraised Dhumal of his grievances at the meet and made a categorical statement that no new districts will be announced before consulting Kumar and other important stakeholders. Kumar was also allegedly reminded of his patriarch role in the state in making the BJP strong.

“The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and both leaders appraised the party leadership about some of the immediate steps needed to put the house in order. Mission Report 2012 should remain the party’s target was Gadkari’s message,” said a senior BJP leader in Delhi.

Kumar had been demanding the at least three ministers be dropped from the Himachal cabinet. Though health Minister Rajeev Bindal has been given an opportunity to quit the ministry,he has been made a general secretary,a post once occupied by Kumar loyalist Khushi Ram Balnatah,Rohru MLA. Balnatah had already raised the demand for leadership change in the light of the party’s defeat in the Shimla Municipal Corporation polls.

Dhumal loyalists,on the other hand,had been accusing Kumar of trying to destablise a strong BJP government,which has chances of returning to power in the state.

Tension prevails in the party’s Kangra unit as Nurpur MLA Rakesh Pathania had virtually given an ultimatum to the government to make Nurpur a district. “This is his ploy to contest the next election,as it is unlikely that the BJP will give him a ticket. Earlier as well,he was denied ticket from Nurpur,but got elected as Independent,” said a local BJP leader.

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