Dehra Dun: Its over two months now but the BJP seems to have still not come out of the setback it received in the recently-concluded Assembly elections, if the post-poll functioning of the party is any indication.
The party, which lost the elections with a narrow margin, has still not been able to unanimously elect the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, with the belief that Ramesh Pokhariyal `Nishank` should not have been replaced months before the polls by BC Khanduri strongly doing the rounds.
In a recently concluded meeting of the working committee, several sections within the party were of the view that the move to replace Nishank five months prior to the crucial polls badly dented the party`s prospects in the elections.
Many of its leaders believed that had this last-minute change not been made, the party would have performed comparatively better as Nishank`s removal sent a wrong message.
Nishank`s own statement strongly backs the viewpoint, where he claimed that "sweets were distributed in Congress office" the day he was removed from chief ministership.
"I am not blaming anybody, but this is what several Congress leaders tell me," he said.
Nishank claimed several of his initiatives like the Atal Khadyanna Yojana, Antyodaya Yatra and Gauri Kanya Dhan Yojana had inforced trust towards the party`s rule among the masses.
He said as per his information, party fell prey to a well-planned conspiracy of the Congress party.
"Be it any party, such a change at the eleventh hour will send a negative message. Furthermore, the party could produce no reason before the public as to why it removed Nishank," said Subhash Barthwal, former vice-president of party`s youth body Yuva Kalyan Parishad.
Another leader, on conditions of anonimity, claimed that out of the 40 seats campaigned by Khanduri, the party lost at 31 places.
Leaders backed themselves claiming that Nishank would not have won his seat had there been any anti-incumbency against his rule.
Claiming severe infighting within the party, its former state president Antariksha Saini, who resigned 20 days back, alleged that in these elections, "tickets were given against money".