The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) intends to enroll as many as new members as possible before the December 15 deadline of the membership drive ends, but a section of leaders in the Uttarakhand unit is focusing on something else: getting the post of state party president.
The process of internal elections in the state unit will start after the membership drive ends next month. The BJP national unit is promoting party membership drive in a big way. The Uttarakhand unit has set a target of making 2.5 million members by the next month. Therefore, BJP leadership is focusing on the membership drive but at the same time several leaders have also started lobbying for organisational positions including the state BJP president post.
The present state party president Tirath Singh Rawat is unlikely to be repeated for a second term. There are about six leaders who are reportedly eyeing the top post including Khatima MLA Pushkar Singh Dhami and former MP Balraj Pasi.
“Many intend to hold positions and that is natural. However, the internal polls will begin only after the membership exercise ends and poll for the organisational positions could be delayed,” said Abhimanyu Kumar, in-charge of the BJP’s media cell.
In the past, the BJP had witnessed hectic lobbying for the state president’s post as present president Tirath Singh Rawat and former minister Trivender Singh Rawat were pitted against each other. They belong to different camps. The former is seen as close to ex-CM BC Khanduri while latter is seen as close to ex-CM BC Koshyari. Interestingly Trivender has been elevated as in-charge for the party affairs in Jharkhand, which goes to assembly polls this month.
There is a buzz in the party that Trivender might be further elevated to the post of national general secretary. Many new names are also doing the rounds for the party president’s post. The one who takes over the reins of the party in the state is likely to be the most powerful man because the state will go to polls in early 2017. And BJP will fight elections under the leadership of the state president.
When contacted, Khatima MLA, Pushkar Dhami said he is focusing on his work and “not lobbying” for any post. “As public representatives, we make an effort. The party and workers have to decide the rest,” Dhami told Hindustan Times.