BJP chief Amit Shah has called a core committee meeting of the party’s Uttarakhand unit in Delhi to discuss the reasons behind its failure to replace the recently reinstated Congress government in the state, a move that left the Central leadership red faced.
The Centre imposed President’s rule in the state after nine rebel Congress MLAs sided with the BJP on its demand for a vote on the Money Bill, BJP insiders told HT that Shah, in Wednesday’s meeting, will discuss with the state leaders the party’s strategy for the election to the state’s lone Rajya Sabha seat on June 11 as well as its strategy for the 2017 assembly polls.
However, a section of the state BJP leaders dubbed the proposed core committee meeting as a “face-saving ploy” on the part of the Central leadership. “It’s nothing but a move aimed at papering over the crack. That is evident from the fact that the high command is discussing the core issue with the state leaders that are its handmaidens,” a senior state BJP leader said.
The BJP leader said that none of the core committee members “had the spine” to tell Shah that the high command’s move to topple the Rawat regime was misplaced. “Our party has not only become a laughing stock but has also suffered a loss of credibility, thanks to the top brass’s decision to topple the Rawat government and its failure to form our own government,” he said. “Such a frivolous move came at a time when hardly seven months’ time was left for the next assembly polls.”
BJP insiders said the party may win a mere 20 out of a total of 70 seats in the assembly elections, thanks to the high command’s “hasty decision” to topple the Rawat government and its failure to replace it.
However, state BJP spokesperson Vinay Goyal dubbed all such statements as “baseless”.
“Our party chief has called the core committee meeting to discuss the coming Rajya Sabha election as well as the next assembly polls that can be announced anytime. The recent events will also come up for discussion at the core committee meeting,” he said.
Goyal told HT that the state government might fall during the election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat. “It may fall as a group of Congress legislators, who are eying the two vacant cabinet berths, may indulge in cross-voting in favour of our candidate for that (RS) seat,” Goyal said.
“If the chief minister (reshuffles his cabinet), his government, surviving on a wafer-thin majority, is bound to collapse because he has promised two cabinet berths to as many as 10 legislators of his party, a commitment he can never fulfil,” he said.
“Naturally, the legislators who will be ignored for the cabinet berths will vote for our candidate,” he said.