In jolt for Goel,Rajnath says BJP has not decided on CM candidate

In remarks likely to dash chief ministerial hopes of Delhi unit president Vijay Goel and start a race for a party challenger to Sheila Dikshit,BJP president Rajnath Singh on Thursday said his party had not yet decided on a chief ministerial candidate for the Delhi assembly elections due later this year.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:April 19, 2013 1:42 am

In remarks likely to dash chief ministerial hopes of Delhi unit president Vijay Goel and start a race for a party challenger to Sheila Dikshit,BJP president Rajnath Singh on Thursday said his party had not yet decided on a chief ministerial candidate for the Delhi assembly elections due later this year.

That choice,he said,would be made by the party parliamentary board. “We do not lack leaders. We will announce the name when the time comes,” Rajnath Singh said in response to a query at the Idea Exchange programme of The Indian Express.

In February,Goel replaced Vijender Gupta as the Delhi BJP president,and there was speculation that he would be the party candidate for the chief minister’s post in the state polls.

But Singh made it clear that Goel was not yet the party choice for the top job in Delhi. “We have not yet projected anyone as chief ministerial candidate for the Delhi assembly elections. It will take some time… the party parliamentary board decides candidates for state and central leadership roles. Only after approval of the board is the name of a candidate declared,” he said.

Asked who all were in the race,Singh said he would not discuss names. “I cannot say whether someone is in the race or not. We have a system in place and I do not want to play with it,” he said.

Ever since he has taken charge,Goel has been taking on Sheila Dikshit on a host of issues,leading street protests and giving party workers and rivals the impression that he would be her challenger in the polls. Last month,he challenged Dikshit for an open debate on the issue of power tariff.

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