BJP rules out Goel for CM,names do rounds

Senior state leaders say party should not delay announcing the name of the CM candidate

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Published:August 27, 2013 2:21 am

A day after former BJP chief and Delhi in-charge Nitin Gadkari announced the party’s election committee and election core committee for the forthcoming assembly elections in the capital,party sources on Monday said the national leadership had made it clear to Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel that he was not a contender for the Chief Minister’s post.

Among the names doing the rounds for the CM post is that of BJP’s former Delhi unit chief and MLA Harsh Vardhan.

When contacted,he refused to comment on the issue. “It is the national leaders’ prerogative to decide when to announce and who to name for the post,” he said.

“The national leadership has made it clear to Goel that there is too much bad blood within the state unit because of his style of functioning. He will remain the party president but he is not seen as a contender for the post of CM. Four senior national leaders have told Goel that he can be anything but a CM contender,” said a party source.

Many senior leaders who have been named to the two committees said on Monday the party should announce the chief ministerial candidate without delay. With the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party going to the polls with a clear candidate for the CM post,a sizeable section of leaders in the BJP are afraid that a delay in the announcement of its chief ministerial candidate could harm the party’s prospects in the upcoming elections.

“Those who are forcing the leadership to delay the announcement of the CM candidate are thinking of exploiting the situation to their advantage. But we all believe that going to the polls without a CM candidate will shatter the faith of voters in the BJP,” a senior leader said.

Many senior leaders who are part of the election committee formed by Gadkari believe that the BJP cannot afford to go to the polls without a CM candidate.

The leaders said that delay in the announcement will only fuel speculation and more confusion,which could cost the party many seats.

Meanwhile,sources in the party confirmed that even the senior national leaders were unanimous on declaring the chief ministerial candidate soon.

In the core committee announced on Sunday,Gadkari has tried to get everyone onboard,addressing their complaints of being sidelined by the Delhi BJP chief. In this committee,several dissidents,mayors and former mayors,councillors,Leader of the House and standing commiitee chairpersons have been accommodated.

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