The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will not declare any chief ministerial candidate for the 2017 Uttarakhand elections, party chief Amit Shah-led core committee decided in New Delhi on Monday.
“The core committee unanimously decided against projecting a chief ministerial candidate for the assembly polls which will be fought under a joint leadership,” state BJP general secretary Naresh Bansal, who is also a member of the core committee, told Hindustan Times on phone from Delhi.
The move was on expected lines as more than half-a-dozen leaders are vying to become the BJP’s face for the assembly polls due in early next year, and the party fears picking one leader might revive infighting in the party.
“These senior leaders of our party include four former chief ministers,” said a source, referring to BC Khanduri, Ramesh Pokhariyal, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Vijay Bahuguna.
Bahuguna along with eight other rebel ruling Congress legislators, including Harak Singh Rawat, joined the BJP after the political crisis that led to imposition of President’s rule in the state in March. Harak Singh is also one of the contenders.
Besides, BJP national executive member Satpal Maharaj, who left the Congress in the run up to the 2014 general elections, is also reportedly eyeing the coveted position.
Bansal said Shah asked the core committee members to work unitedly to ensure the party’s victory in the coming polls.
“The panel also gave its approval to a series of programmes, rallies to be organised in the state in the coming months to oust the Harish Rawat-led Congress government,” said state BJP executive committee member Dhan Singh Rawat.
bansal said: “The dates for all such programmes would be decided at the next core committee meeting to be held in Haldwani on September 3.”
He said the panel also decided that corruption in the Rawat Congress government would be the BJP’s main poll-plank in the next assembly polls.
“The Rawat government’s all-round failures and the achievements of the NDA government at the Centre would be other key issues on which our party would contest the elections,” he told HT.