Taking a cue from the parent organisation, the Delhi unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to introduce a post of chief of election campaign to settle the dispute over its chief ministerial candidate.
The BJP had created the post of chairman, campaign committee for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi at its Goa executive meet in June to deal with heartburns among the party workers, who wanted veteran LK Advani to be the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
Party managers in the factionalism-ridden Delhi unit believe that the move would help scuttle chances of a split over the chief ministerial candidate.
“The dilemma within the BJP is manifolds and the senior leaders are trying everything in their power to settle the issue so that it doesn’t adversely impact the election campaign,” said a senior BJP leader, requesting anonymity.
“Delhi’s election in-charge Nitin Gadkari, who has been trying to keep the party unit together, has held several meetings with party leaders and workers. One section is of the view that the party should introduce post of a chief of election campaign committee. This will ensure that apart from the Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel, another senior leader is accommodated in a major role. However, the other section has cautioned the senior leaders that such a post will create multiplicity of authority. A final decision in this matter will be taken by Gadkari,” the leader said.
Sources said BJP’s Delhi veteran and former city unit chief Harsh Vardhan is the front-runner for the new post. “His name is acceptable to most party members and his clean image is an asset. Senior leaders as well as party members of Delhi BJP are looking for collective leadership. The new post will take care of the rift in the party workers over the chief ministerial candidate,” said another city BJP leader.
With two senior BJP leaders resigning from their posts - Sudhanshu Mittal and Aamir Raza Husain -- the in-fighting has only escalated in Delhi BJP. Sources said the central leadership needs to take some immediate measures to avoid damage in time for the assembly polls due in November.