Union Minister of State and Faridabad MP Krishan Pal Gurjar seems all set to replace incumbent Subhash Barala as the next Haryana BJP chief. Highly placed party sources have told The Indian Express that a formal announcement naming Gurjar as the next Haryana unit head is likely to be made soon. They added that party high command decided in Gurjar’s favour following Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s consent for his name.
BJP leaders, meanwhile, have already started congratulating Gurjar for the new responsibility.
The Union Minister had held the responsibility of Haryana party chief earlier too from 2009 to 2013.
This time, sources said, former Haryana ministers Captain Abhimanyu and Om Prakash Dhankar, two-time MLAs Mahipal Dhanda and Kamal Gupta, Kurukshetra MP Nayab Saini and BJP Haryana unit general secretary Sandeep Joshi were also in race for final consideration for the post.
Sources added that some senior functionaries in the party high command were supporting Captain Abhimanyu and Dhankar too. However, the Chief Minister consented on Gurjar’s name to ensure “unanimity in the election of state BJP chief”, added sources.
Dhankar is considered close to BJP president J P Nadda, while Captain is known for his close proximity to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Both Dhankar and Abhimanyu had earlier held important organisational responsibilities in the party. On the other hand, Mahipal Dhanda, Kamal Gupta, Nayab Saini and Sandeep Joshi were considered from the Chief Minister’s camp.
For the past few months, several state leaders were making efforts to get the opportunity to lead the party in Haryana where the BJP has again returned to the power in the polls held in October 2019.
Gurjar, who belongs to a village of Faridabad district, had joined the politics during his college days. In 1994, he was elected to councillor for Faridabad Municipal Corporation. Just two year later, he was elected to Haryana Assembly when he defeated a senior politician Mahender Pratap from Mewla Maharajpur constituency of Faridabad district. Then he was made Cabinet minister in the then alliance government of Haryana Vikas Party and BJP led by Bansi Lal. In 2000, he again defeated Mahender Pratap and became leader of BJP legislative group in the Vidhan Sabha. In 2009, he was elected from Tigaon Assembly constituency.
After winning the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Faridabad, he was given the responsibility of Minister of State in the first term of Modi government. In 2019, he won the parliamentary poll by a margin of 6.38 lakh votes which was the third biggest victory margin across the country in Lok Sabha elections.
The incumbent Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala, 53, is also considered close to the Chief Minister. Barala had handled the responsibility of state chief since December 2014 when he was assigned the job after the then state president Ram Bilas Sharma became a Cabinet minister in the Khattar government. In 2016, Barala was again given the responsibility. In the history of BJP in Haryana, sources in the party said, Barala has served the saffron party as state president for the longest period.
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