In an attempt to put pressure on the party leadership on the issue of chief ministerial candidate,supporters of Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel on Thursday held a show of strength at the residences of BJP president Rajnath Singh and Delhi poll in-charge Nitin Gadkari.
Sources said no sitting MLA participated in the show of strength. Among those who came out in support of Goel were some district presidents,councillors,former councillors and office-bearers of the partys district units.
Despite the show of strength,the partys senior leadership tried to put up a united front in the evening at a ceremony in Gadkaris house,where leaders from other parties joined the BJP. Present on the occasion were Aarti Mehra,V K Malhotra,Jagdish Mukhi,Vijender Gupta and Harsh Vardhan,apart from Goel.
BSPs Delhi general secretary Suman Saini and RLDs Kishan Kant were among those who joined the BJP on Thursday.
When asked about the partys chief ministerial choice for the Assembly polls,Gadkari said,The national president and BJPs parliamentary board will take a call on the issue at an appropriate time.
On Goel,he said he was a good party worker and had no allegations of corruption against him. Gadkari also praised Malhotra and Harsh Vardhan for their leadership.
Party sources,however,said the show of strength by Goel was being viewed as an attempt by him to pressure the senior leadership.
According to the sources,it has also affected Goels standing within the organisation as senior leaders were feeling offended by the show of strength. They believe Goel should have had faith in the leadership and concentrated on party work,the sources said.
The Delhi CM candidature remains a festering issue for the BJP. Though it is Goels perceived oneupmanship in projecting himself as the prime challenger to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,which has irked his rivals in the state unit,the fact that AAPs Arvind Kejriwal and his party has decided to single out Goel for attack and cut into BJPs middle-class support base has added to the sentiments against him in the party.
Rajnath Singh,in this backdrop,was learnt to have entrusted Gadkari and senior party leader Arun Jaitley to discuss the issue of the chief ministerial candidate. But,both of them are still learnt to be undecided.