The reported move by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s central leadership to induct nine rebel Congress leaders of Uttarakhand into the party will prove counterproductive in the 2017 state elections, warned state BJP leaders on Tuesday.
Party insiders said that the issue of induction was likely to be decided during the BJP core committee meeting in Delhi on Wednesday. The meeting will be headed by party president Amit Shah. However, the senior state BJP leaders are against the reported move as they feel the party has already suffered a loss of image after its alleged move to topple the Rawat government failed. The President’s rule was revoked and the Congress-led government was reinstated after the floor test went in favour of the Rawat government.
A senior state BJP office bearer said, “Such a move (to induct rebel Congress leaders) will have serious repercussions on the party’s prospects in 2017 assembly elections.” He said that the move could be a setback for as many as nine senior BJP leaders, including himself, as they might not get the ticket for the assembly election. The Central leadership might have had a pre-induction understanding with the nine rebels and that might cost nine deserving BJP leaders the tickets, he suspected.
The party insiders said that similar fears prevailed across the second and third-rung state leaders too and hundreds of their supporters who would be angry and unhappy if the central leaders go ahead with the rebels’ induction.
Another senior state leader said those who are members of the core committee, would raise the issue during the meeting in Delhi and persuade the top brass to let the rebel Congress legislators contest the elections as a separate group with the BJP support.
The Centre had imposed the President’s rule after nine rebel Congress MLAs sided with the BJP on the Money Bill vote, which led to their disqualification. They moved a petition in the high court against their disqualification. But the rebel Congress MLAs failed to get a relief and moved the Supreme Court. The apex court that directed the Rawat government to take floor test on May 10, however, barred them (rebel MLAs) from voting.
State BJP spokesperson Virendra Singh Bisht, however, said the party cadres and leaders would accept whatever decision the leaders take on the issue. “So far we have received no proposal regarding their merger in the party,” he said.