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‘Outsider’ Kohli new Delhi unit president of BJP

The BJP on Wednesday appointed Om Prakash Kohli as president of its Delhi unit.

Written by Rohinee Singh | New Delhi |
January 8, 2009 1:39:21 am

The BJP on Wednesday appointed Om Prakash Kohli as president of its Delhi unit. He replaces Harsh Vardhan,who last month completed two terms in office.

Kohli was secretary of the BJP parliamentary party and is one of the founder members of ABVP.

BJP sources said Kohli got the nod as he enjoys confidence of the RSS. His clean image and accommodative style of functioning also went in his favour,they added.

But many in the party said Kohli’s selection reflects the lack of consensus and the tussle between the senior party leadership. BJP national president Rajnath Singh is believed to have been rooting for former MP Vijay Goel,while senior leader Arun Jaitley was seen as backing MCD Standing Committee Chairman Vijendra Gupta.

With no consensus emerging between the two groups,Kohli was eventually picked as a compromise candidate,insiders said. Many BJP leaders said the fact that Kohli is a complete outsider to the tussle and friction within Delhi BJP would be an advantage for the party in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

But some Delhi BJP leaders criticised the move,saying the party was not giving “young and the deserving” their due. “There were contenders who were young and more popular than Kohli,” a BJP leader,who did not want to be named,said. “But internal politics is at its peak now and the clash between the two lobbies ensured an RSS candidate managed to make it to the top.”

Several BJP councillors are also disappointed as the Standing Committee Chairman Gupta’s name is believed to have been almost finalised for the post four days ago. “We have been loyal but the party does not want councillors to go to the next level,” a senior councillor said. “Councillors were not allowed to contest the Assembly polls and now another councillor has been rejected.”

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