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BJP will contest Delhi polls without CM candidate,says Nitin Gadkari

As divisions run deep,party decides to contest under ‘collective leadership’.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Published: September 19, 2013 2:04:16 am

With infighting within the party showing no signs of abating,the BJP has now decided to contest the Delhi Assembly elections without declaring a chief ministerial candidate,a first for the party.

Related: BJP wary of naming Harsh Vardhan Delhi CM choice

Confirming this,former BJP president and Delhi in-charge Nitin Gadkari said the party will not declare the CM candidate ahead of the Assembly polls. “We will go to the polls under the collective leadership of Vijay Goel,Harshvardhan and V K Malhotra. We will not declare the Chief Ministerial candidate ahead of the Assembly polls. We aim to win the elections this time,” he said.

Related: Divide in Delhi BJP deepens,Gadkari tries to mend fences

This may come as a shock to CM hopefuls within the BJP because the ruling Congress will be going to the polls with Sheila Dikshit as its CM candidate for the fourth time.

Now,with the Aam Aadmi Party too projecting its CM candidate in Arvind Kejriwal,who will contest the elections from the CM’s constituency,the decision of not announcing the CM candidate can become an embarrassment for the BJP.

Related: After ABVP victory,Delhi BJP leaders pin hopes on Modi for Assembly polls

When asked repeatedly,BJP national president Rajnath Singh avoided the question by leaving the decision to the party’s Parliamentary Board.

Related: BJP’s hopes up,Cong looks at voting trends

“It could be dangerous for the party to announce the chief ministerial candidate as those leaders harbouring ambition to be CM will work against the party if they are left out. These leaders too have their support base in the party cadre. It seems reasonable on the part of the party to go to the polls without a CM candidate,” a senior leader said.

However,there is a section within the party which believes announcement of the CM candidate is necessary if the party wants to win the elections. “How will we face the people without knowing who is leading us in this election?” another leader in the race for the CM post said.

On Tuesday,Gadkari had urged senior leaders to refrain from infighting as he officially launched the party’s poll campaign in the capital.

BJP to release candidates’ list on modi rally day

After making tall claims that it will come out with a list of 20 candidates by September 15,the Delhi BJP went back on its word and said the party will announce the list after September 29,the day the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a rally in the city. Sources said this has been done so that tickets hopefuls will work to make Modi’s rally a success.

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