BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Hoshiarpur Avinash Rai Khanna on Sunday met Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) Punjab vice-president Brig Jagdish Gagneja (retd).
Though both termed the meeting as “informal” and “without a specific agenda”, it is being seen as important as Punjab heads for elections to the state unit president. On Saturday, the elections, scheduled to be held on Sunday, were postponed at the eleventh hour.
Brig Gagneja, who oversees the BJP’s work in the state, is a key man in the saffron party hierarchy and all senior leaders look up to him in decision-making on key issues.
Khanna is a hot contender for the state party chief’s post and it is being talked in party circles that the postponement of the polls is a step towards bringing in a new face, replacing Kamal Sharma, who completes his term. Sharma has also not given up and is trying for another three-year term. Till Saturday, Pathankot MLA Ashwini Sharma was also a contender.
Khanna is also the BJP’s national in-charge for conducting polls in the party set-up. Confirming his meeting with Brig Gagneja, Khanna did not deny being in the race for the state president, adding that the elections to the Punjab unit might be announced soon.
Party sources say that with a change in the situation on a day-to-day basis, it is leading to confusion. Top party leaders – national president Amit Shah, finance minister Arun Jaitley and party national general secretary Ram Lal are reportedly expected to take a call on the matter shortly.