Former Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, who was replaced in September last year, has failed to find place in the campaigning material of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Instead, the party has projected BC Khanduri, the chief minister with a clean image.
Although Nishank figures in the BJP election committee, the party seems to be hesitating in using him in poll material and poll campaign.
In most of the banners and hoardings, the BJP has prominently given place to CM Khanduri, election in-charge for UP/Uttarakhand Rajnath Singh, BJP president Bishan Singh Chuphal, election committee head BS Koshyari and national president Nitin Gadkari. Sushma Swaraj, LK Advani and AB Vajpayee are other prominent poster people of the party. The two faces who are conspicuous by their absence are former chief ministers Nityanand Swami and Nishank.
This is when the party had nominated Nishank as national vice president when Khanduri replaced him last September. Otherwise ‘media savvy’, Nishank, who is contesting from Doiwala constituency, has preferred to remain tight-lipped on the issue. Swami, meanwhile, is bed-ridden and had registered his protest after party denied ticket to his daughter.
Party’s election in-charge Rajnath Singh said Nishank was a prominent leader.
“He (Nishank) is our national vice president, we will use him accordingly,” said Rajnath.
Meanwhile, a few supporters of Nishank who could not get tickets have turned rebels. Rajnath, however, is hopeful. “The party is in talk with partymen who are not happy. We hope they all will return to the party-fold by January 16, the last day for the withdrawal of nominations.”