NEW DELHI: The BJP continues to keep party MLAs in Uttarakhand guessing over the next chief minister of the state. Even though the BJP has four former chief ministers in its ranks, party leaders claimed that none of them are in the reckoning for the top post.
While the BJP state chief Ajay Bhatt had been seen as the front runner for the post of the chief minister in the run up to the Assembly elections, his surprise loss from the Ranikhet constituency appears to have made the task difficult for the top brass of the party.
“None of the four former chief ministers – BC Khanduri, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Vijay Bahuguna – are in the race for the top post in Uttarakhand. Trievendra Singh Rawat, who is close to Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh, and Prakash Pant seem to be contenders for the CM post.
The BJP national secretary Anil Baluni, who is close to the party chief Amit Shah, could not contest the Assembly elections, which may go against him,” said a senior BJP functionary. Even though Baluni did not contest the Assembly elections, he looked after the poll preparation of the party in the state.
Though Satpal Maharaj is also being counted as a contender, his association with the Congress is being seen as negative for him, sources in the BJP said.
The BJP legislature party meeting in Uttarakhand is likely to be held on Friday. Union Minister Piyush Goyal and the BJP national general secretary Vinay Sahashrabuddhe have been appointed the Central observers for Uttarakhand by the Parliamentary Board of the party.