The BJP’s Uttarakhand unit has constituted a “core team” of party leaders to placate its disgruntled members who are on protest after being denied tickets to contest the February 15 assembly election.
The move comes following intervention of BJP central leadership as nearly a dozen party leaders resigned from the party after failing to get nominations.
The party has also readied an “aggressive” campaign strategy that would be launched soon.
“The two key decisions were taken at a meeting held by the party’s four central leaders after they arrived in the city (Dehradun) on Sunday night,” BJP state unit spokesperson Vijay Goyal said.
Central leaders are national vice-president Shyam Jaju, national joint secretary (organisation) Shiv Prakash, state election in-charge and union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and JP Nadda.
The party constituted a “core team” comprising leaders of the party’s state unit to pacify the disgruntled workers whose name did not figure in the list of candidates, he said.
“Our central leaders discussed the matter threadbare but concluded that it was not a serious issue as the problem (of rebellion) is confined to hardly 4-5 constituencies,” he said while refusing to disclose names of the seats.
BJP insiders, however, said the party top brass was unnerved by the rebellion that broke out just ahead of the assembly election and was forced to depute its representatives to contain it.
Those privy to the meeting told HT that the party’s four central leaders soon after their arrival here went into a huddle to discuss the rebellion issue.
Ex-BJP MLAs Suresh Jain and Shailendra Rawat have joined the Congress and are contesting on its ticket from Roorkee and Yamkeshwar assembly seats, respectively. Other ex-BJP MLAs Om Gopal Rawat and Asha Nautiyal are contesting as Independents.
Most (BJP) rebels resigned from the party after it gave tickets to 13 of the 14 Congress turncoats ignoring their claim. BJP insiders admitted that the party was facing problem in 38 of the 70 assembly constituencies where its cadres were in a protest mode.
BJP’S PRE-POLL CAMPAIGN CHALKED OUT
Goyal, meanwhile, told HT that a four-member team had readied the campaign schedule. “The campaign would be carried out so aggressively that our rivals (Congress) wouldn’t be able to match its pace and magnitude,” he said.
As part of the move, five mechanised raths (chariots) would be flagged off from the party’s state headquarters on Monday, he said.
“Each of the (five raths) equipped with LED television sets would criss-cross the 70 assembly constituencies to publicise pro-people schemes initiated by the BJP-led Centre and also failures of the Harish Rawat-led Congress government in the state,” he said.
A schedule for the party’s star campaigners, who would soon start addressing public meetings in the state, has also been prepared, Goyal said.
Besides Prime Minster Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues, a bevy of cine and TV stars, including Hema Malini, Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff and Smiriti Irani would be campaigning, he told HT.