The BJP central leadership has sought feedback on five leaders from Uttarakhand as part of an exercise to pick a chief ministerial candidate if the party wins the assembly elections, sources said on Saturday.
Unlike the Congress that ran its election campaign with incumbent Harish Rawat as its CM face, the BJP did not project a local leader for the state’s top job. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the kingpin of the saffron party’s campaign in the state that went to polls on February 15.
BJP national president Amit Shah has asked for details about the electoral role played by former chief ministers BC Khanduri and Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, party’s national executive member Satpal Maharaj, national secretary and Jharkhand in-charge Trivendra Singh Rawat and state party president Ajay Bhatt, the sources said.
Shah has sought information about how many rallies these leaders addressed and what role they played outside areas of their influence to boost the winning prospects of candidates. Apart from the state leadership, Shah has tapped other sources for information, the sources said.
“Even if there any exercise to seek feedback on leaders, it must have been done at the highest level of the party. We are yet to receive any information, but one thing is clear that picking a chief ministerial name is an open issue in the party. It’s not limited to mere MLAs or groups in the party,” state BJP media in-charge Devendra Bhasin told Hindustan Times on Saturday.
Of the five leaders listed by the party leadership, Maharaj, Trivendra Singh and Bhatt contested elections, and Khanduri and Koshiyari are Lok Sabha MPs.
According information from the BJP office, Maharaj addressed nearly 10 party rallies outside his own constituency during elections, apart from Parivartan Yatra meetings. He campaigned in four assembly segments -- Yamkeshwar, Pauri, Lansdowne, and Srinagar -- adjoining Chaubattakhal, his own constituency.
Trivendra Singh and Bhatt were confined to their constituencies as their contest was too close. Khanduri and Koshiyari addressed 10 public rallies each in support of party candidates in constituencies outside their areas of influence, Yamkeshwar and Bageshwar. Khanduri camped mostly in Yamkeshwar from where his daughter Ritu Khanduri was a BJP candidate.