Nishank won`t be only face of party in U`khand polls: BJP
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Last Updated: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 19:28
  
New Delhi: In the backdrop of factionalism in Uttarakhand's ruling BJP ahead of assembly polls, the party top brass on Thursday gave indications it was not happy with the functioning of Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, saying he would not be the only face of the party at the hustings.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari held a meeting with party's senior leaders from Uttarakhand to discuss the strategy for the elections scheduled to be held early next year. Former chief ministers B S Koshiyari and B C Khanduri were present along with Nishank and others.

Emerging from the meeting, Gadkari said "there will be no change of leadership in Uttarakhand before the elections... After the elections, the leaders who are elected will choose their leader (Chief Minister)."

The BJP central leadership has received several complaints of corruption against Nishank-led government, according to party sources. This had prompted the leadership to wonder if fighting the polls with him as chief minister would help the party.

Prior to today's meeting, two sittings of these senior leaders have already taken place. It was decided not to change the chief minister as only a few months are left and a change of guard now would complicate matters. Moreover, no leader is ready to take over the mantle at this juncture.

Asked if Nishank would be the face of the party in Uttarakhand, Gadkari said "Koshiyari, Nishank and Khanduri- all three leaders are important for the party. In BJP, there is no such struggle. Ours is not a family party where one person acts as the boss and the others as servants."

Party sources said the top leadership wanted Koshiyari to take over as Uttarakhand BJP unit chief but he refused, saying he cannot function with Nishank occupying the Chief Minister's chair.

Meanwhile, the Congress took a jibe at Gadkari for apparently making an oblique reference to the party in his remarks, saying mature leaders should desist from making such statements.

"If we try to make him understand, he won't understand. This type of remarks should not be made because we are a mature democracy and we expect that leaders too are mature," Congress leader Kapil Sibal told reporters.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 19:28


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