Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and chief ministerial candidate in the last Assembly elections, Vijay Kumar Malhotra (81), on Friday reportedly threatened to resign from the post of leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly.
According to a senior party leader, Malhotra is not keen on contesting Assembly elections this year but has pitched for his son Ajay to represent the Greater Kailash seat, which the senior leader won in 2008. Another Punjabi leader and former Mayor Aarti Mehra also wants to contest from the same seat. Since Malhotra’s son is not very active in the BJP, the party may prefer Mehra over him.
“This is probably his tactic to make the party agree to his son’s name for the GK seat. Malhotra has been a loyal party worker and may not go beyond threatening to resign,” a senior leader said, requesting anonymity.
But sources said Malhotra had expressed his displeasure on not being considered the party’s face in the campaign for the Assembly elections. Malhotra had said present Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel and Dr Harsh Vardhan, who is being tipped as the new chief of the party’s poll campaign committee, are from the Baniya (trading) community.
Malhotra represents the Punjabi community, one of the biggest vote banks of the party. The senior leader insisted that a Punjabi be given the charge to lead the party.
Meanwhile, the Delhi BJP is likely to announce the high-powered core committee on Saturday to end the in-fighting.
“Generally, the core committee is formed when the Delhi BJP president takes charge. However, it has been four months but it wasn’t formed. All decisions related to Assembly elections would be taken by it,” said a senior BJP leader.
The committee is likely to include former Delhi BJP presidents Vijender Gupta, OP Kohli and Madan Lal Khurana, Aarti Mehra, Vani Tripathi, VK Malhotra and Jagdish Mukhi.