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
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
"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.