NEW DELHI: Sticking to its pre-poll decision to contest the Gujarat Assembly poll under the leadership of incumbent CM Vijay Rupani and his deputy Nitin Patel, the BJP legislative party meeting in Ahmedabad on Friday endorsed status quo even as the saffron outfit is in a bind with intense lobbying for the leadership role in Himachal Pradesh.
In the presence of central observers — Arun Jaitley and Saroj Pandey — the BJP legislative party elected Rupani as the CM and Patel as his deputy. BJP national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav had proposed their names, and it was seconded by five legislators each, to complete the formality, which was apparently guided by party chief Amit Shah. The swearing-in of the new State council of ministers is likely on December 25, which is also the birthday of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Jaitley, however, told the media that the date of swearing-in would be announced soon. Meanwhile, the BJP during the day hit a century after Independent MLA Ratan Rathore, who was elected from Lunawada constituency as a Congress rebel, joined the saffron outfit.
The BJP is seemingly in a bind on the leadership issue in Himachal Pradesh, with central observers — Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar — returning to the national capital with three names — Prem Kumar Dhumal, J P Nadda and Jairam Thakur, sources said.