Gadkari to intervene to resolve HP BJP crisis

With factional feud in Himachal BJP coming into the open, party president Nitin Gadkari is understood to have summoned senior leaders.

Updated: Jun 17, 2012, 23:30 PM IST

Shimla: With factional feud in Himachal BJP coming into the open, party president Nitin Gadkari is understood to have summoned senior leaders from the poll-bound state including chief minister P K Dhumal and his bete noire Shanta Kumar to Delhi to resolve the crisis.

The latest round of acrimony precipitated after BJP MLA Khushi Ram Balnatah, who is said to be from the Shanta Kumar camp, demanded change in leadership, prompting the party to issue a show cause notice to him for indiscipline.

State Health Minister Rajiv Bindal, who is from the Dhumal camp, has been appointed state general secretary under pressure from Shanta Kumar group and he has announced that he will resign from the Cabinet on June 25.

But the Shanta Kumar camp is till demanding major shake-up in the party. Kumar has repeatedly said publicly that the `Mission repeat` to bring BJP back to power in assembly elections later this year would not be achieved unless corrupt elements were weeded out and the dissident leaders who have floated the Himachal Lokhit Party were taken back into party fold.

With Assembly Elections just four months away, the party high command was seriously concerned about the disturbing developments in the party and trying to bring both the warring factions together, party sources said.

Assembly elections would be held following delimitation this time and at least half a dozen prominent leaders have either lost their seats and they are in search of "safe" constituencies, creating resentment among other members.

BJP MP from Kangra Rajan Sushant had already raised a banner of revolt and had been suspended from the party while a large number of senior leaders including former state president and three time Lok sabha MP Maheshwar Singh, former ministers Radha Raman Shashtri, Mohinder Sofat and Shyama Sharma have already left the BJP and floated the Himachal Lokhit Party.

Himchal Cong put ups united face

Meanwhile, with the ruling BJP fighting dissidence in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, the Congress, which has virtually kick-started its election campaign, today took pains to project a united face at a party rally here.

Union ministers V B Singh and Anand Sharma, HPCC president Kaul Singh Thakur and Leader of the Opposition in Vidhan Sabha Vidya Stokes shared the dais and called upon people to oust the BJP in the Assembly polls.

The leaders denied any dissensions in the party and said that the party was fully geared up to unitedly fight the BJP in the assembly polls and dislodge it from power.

The party`s first "Parivartan Rally" was earlier held Dharamsala.

Virender Singh Chaudhary gave a clear message to the Congressmen that coming Assembly elections would be fought under the "joint leadership" and asked the rank and file of the party to ensure thumping victory of the party.

V B Singh accused the state government of misguiding the people by making false accusations that the Union government was discriminating against the BJP-ruled state and said that the development that had taken place in the state was due to centrally sponsored schemes for which funds were coming from union government.

Lauding the policies of the Centre, Sharma accused Team Anna and Ramdev of tarnishing the image of the nation by "raising fingers at every decision of the government and criticising its policies".

"Congress is the oldest and biggest political party in the country and not afraid of any so called movement of civil society and hence nobody should try to undermine the political ability of the party," he said.

He charged BJP with fuelling such `movements` for deriving political mileage and also Ramdev not to compare himself with Mahatma Gandhi and Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

The Union Minister said all corruption charges against the present BJP government will be probed once the Congress returns to power as it has done in Uttarkhand.

A large number of Congress MLAs, former ministers and MLAs and senior party leaders and Anees Ahmed, AICC Secretary and co-incharge of Himachal Congress, were present at the rally.