A day after infighting forced the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to defer any decision on its chief ministerial candidate, state unit president Vijay Goel said the poll process, including naming the CM face and the list of contestants, needed to be put on fast track as elections were not even 45 days away.
When asked if he was in the race for the chief minister’s post, he decided to toe the party line. “I am not a candidate for any post. It is for the parliamentary board to decide,” Goel said on Monday.
A few days ago, Goel had referred to various opinion polls in the last few months and had said all the surveys had projected him as the most popular choice as the BJP’s CM candidate. However, there was marked difference in his demeanour on Monday. Putting up a brave face, Goel said he had never projected himself as the chief ministerial candidate nor had he proposed anyone else’s name for the post in the past eight months.
According to sources, senior leaders were unhappy with the way Goel had presented himself on Sunday by leaving the party office.
When asked about the stand-off, Harsh Vardhan, a frontrunner for the top post, said he had never demanded that the name of CM candidate be declared. “It is the right of the people to know who their leader would be. However, in the BJP, individuals and posts are not important, but vision and ideology of our senior leaders,” he said.