Koshiyari meets Rajnath, to withdraw resignation
Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri’s archrival Bhagat Singh Koshiyari has agreed to withdraw his resignation from the Rajya Sabha after a meeting with BJP chief Rajnath Singh.delhi Updated: Jun 18, 2009 23:57 IST
Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri’s archrival Bhagat Singh Koshiyari has agreed to withdraw his resignation from the Rajya Sabha after a meeting with BJP chief Rajnath Singh late on Thursday.
Koshiyari (67) had quit in an attempt to force Khanduri out, following the poll debacle in his state, where the BJP lost all five Lok Sabha seats. He had also declared he would work as an ordinary BJP worker to resurrect the party in the hill state.
Rajnath, however, reportedly said that he put the party in “deep distress” at a time when it was working to resolve the leadership issue in Uttarakhand.
Party sources said party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and general secretary Ramlal Aggarwal, who were present at the meeting, told Koshiyari he was spoiling his own chances as a replacement for Khanduri by so publicly throwing down a gauntlet.
Khanduri had himself offered to quit after the results were declared, but party leaders had asked him to continue because the state legislators could not agree on a replacement.
Khanduri (75), who was away in Nagpur, said Koshiyari should have first discussed the issue with party bigwigs before sending his resignation to the Rajya Sabha chairman. He added that he was “deeply pained” by the developments.
"When I was in the Army, I liked BJP because they had the same sense of discipline,” said the retired Major General. “Now, much has changed in the party.”
Earlier in the day, 13 BJP MLAs met central party bosses to warn that they too would quit the state Assembly if their demand for a change of leadership was not met.
Two state ministers — Veena Mehrana and Trivendra Singh Rawat — also pressed for Koshiyari to be appointed in Khanduri’s place.
Change, it seems, is inevitable. Without the 13 MLAs the BJP would be reduced to a minority in the state, and the Congress might actually get the President’s rule they have been talking about.
The BJP top brass has reportedly asked the MLAs to hold out at least till the party’s national executive meeting concludes on Sunday.