In an indication that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to bet on a local leader in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the senior party leaders have changed their earlier stand wherein they have been stressing that the party was open to field anybody from anywhere for the coveted seat of Chandigarh.
Party affairs in-charge, Chandigarh, and former Delhi mayor Aarti Mehra told Hindustan Times that the party was making all efforts to field a local leader as the BJP's candidate for the Lok Sabha elections.
Since the time party has been holding various programmes and briefings in the city on Lok Sabha polls, she had been maintaining that it could be anybody, even somebody from outside Chandigarh, as the party's choice of Chandigarh seat.
"I personally feel that a local leader should be fielded from the city. Now, the party is also trying to push for a local leader the for Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat," Mehra said over phone.
The big question now remains how to deal with infighting and avoid any damage when a name is declared by the central leadership. Those in the know of things say a strategy was being devised. Two of the leaders who would be kept out of Lok Sabha elections' race, would be
'well accommodated' according to their stature in the organisation in Chandigarh as well as in the 'national leadership'.
Sources in the party said in the election committee meeting held on February 9, before Mehra and general secretary, BJP Chandigarh (organisation), Ajay Jamwal were authorised by the party leaders to recommend names of their choice, most were of the view that all three top leaders' name be included in the list to be put before the central leadership.
While city BJP president Sanjay Tandon is being projected as 'young leader' who fits in the scheme of things of the party in forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, senior leader Satya Pal Jain's name, who lost two previous elections at the hands of Congress MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, is being pushed by a group of leaders at the Centre. Jain is involved with a lot of committees of the national unit of the party.
Supporters of senior leader Harmohan Dhawan say he was the only leader who had his "personal votes" and combined together with the BJP votes could give a tough fight to the Congress.
Mehra, Jamwal to recommend three names to 'avoid controversy'
Sources privy to the development said the names Jain, Tandon and Dhawan were to be put before the party's central leadership to choose the party's face for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat.
Aarti Mehra and Ajay Jamwal had finalised the three names after meeting the election committee of local the BJP on February 9, the sources said.
Though Mehra did not confirm, sources close to both leaders said the duo had decided to recommend all three names to avoid any