Unable to reach a consensus over the issue, the party seems to have now decided to talk to all its MLAs and nominees who had contested and lost to choose a person who is acceptable to the majority.
Sources said Janakpuri MLA Jagdish Mukhi enjoys support of the maximum legislators since he is the senior most party legislator and has extensive experience. However, his advanced age is the only thing that can go against him as some young members have raised objection over choosing a veteran over young leadership.
With Vardhan out of the picture, the name of Vijay Goel — who was heading the party ahead of the assembly polls — is also back in reckoning. Goel is now a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan.
Apart from Goel and Mukhi, names of Badarpur MLA Rambir Singh Bidhuri and New Delhi MP and party’s national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi are also doing the rounds.
“Harsh Vardhan was the consensus choice. But he is out of the race now. A number of MLAs have expressed reservation over the names of Bidhuri and Lekhi. They feel they should be consulted before a decision is taken,” said a senior BJP leader.
Party sources said top leaders will meet all MLAs and nominees individually. “BJP chief of Delhi affairs Prabhat Jha and Union minister Nitin Gadkari will hold the meetings. At this juncture, the party cannot afford infighting,” said another senior BJP leader.