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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

Goel takes charge of BJP, promises 'new govt in Delhi'

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 17, 2013
First Published: 22:56 IST(17/2/2013) | Last Updated: 22:58 IST(17/2/2013)

Newly-appointed Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel on Sunday asked party workers to work tirelessly for 200 days and promised that he would "give them a new government" in the state.

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The former union minister took charge as Delhi state BJP president as outgoing chief Vijender Gupta offered him a turban and sweets and led him to the chair. Goel's appointment had earlier been announced by party's national president Rajnath Singh.

Goel urged party workers to fight the Congress government. "The trust with which the people had given power to the Congress has not been honoured by the government. The Congress has betrayed the people," he said.

"The Congress is acting against the Constitution and is involved in corruption. It is not concerned about the people of Delhi. The chief minister wants to mislead the people through false promises and hollow slogans. But the people have understood the reality. The Congress will have to go," he said.

The last-minute change in the party leadership may trigger factional squabbles which could cast a shadow on the BJP's preparation for the assembly polls due in November this year.

Goel apparently had the backing of Rajnath and BJP patriarch LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj, who had initially pitched for former Delhi health and education minister Harsh Vardhan for party's top post in the Capital.

BJP insiders said Gupta lost out to Goel for a second term because a faction thought he was close to senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley and a section of the RSS leaders were against his continuation.

Gupta's supporters argued he had kept the BJP "more active" on the streets of the Capital than any previous party chief. But Gupta's handling of the MCD elections last year, particularly the distribution of tickets, had come under party scrutiny.

Both Goel and Gupta belong to Vaishya community, a key support base of the BJP in the Capital.


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