Uttarakhand BJP MLAs began a crucial meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday to elect their leader after Chief Minister B C Khanduri quit yielding to pressure from dissidents.
Tourism Minister Prakash Pant and Health Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal are the front runners for the post.
Senior party leaders M Venkaiah Naidu and Thawar Chand Gehlot are attending the meeting as central observors besides dissident leader B S Koshiyari and state unit president Bachchi Singh Rawat.
Khanduri, who resigned owning moral responsibility for the party's defeat in all the five Lok Sabha seats in the state in the recent elections, was also present.
BJP has a total strength of 35 MLAs in Uttarakhand Assembly, which has an effective strength of 69.
Koshiyari had been demanding Khanduri's removal for the past few months. He had resigned from Rajya Sabha last week to pressurise the central leadership for a change of guard.
Khanduri became the first major casualty in the BJP after the Lok Sabha debacle, capping a prolonged dissident campaign against him.