Dehradun: Almost two months after the tenure of Uttarakhand BJP chief got over, the party on Tuesday announced that the process for choosing a new state president will be completed by January 19.
Election for the state party chief was put off twice recently, first due to the death of senior party leader and former CM Nityanand Swami, and a second time owing to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi`s swearing-in last month.
The dates for the state party chief`s election were announced by the party`s central election officer Thavar Chand Gehlot, state BJP election officer Kedar Joshi said.
The process for the election of the state party chief will be supervised by BJP national general secretary Vijay Goel, he said.
January 18 has been set as the date for filing of nominations for the post, scrutiny and withdrawals.
If there are more than one contenders for the post in the fray, election will be held on January 19 in which elected members of the party`s Pradesh council from 17 districts will participate, Joshi said.
Hectic lobyying is on within the state BJP for the post of Pradesh party chief with the tenure of its current president Bishan Singh Chufal having come to an end in November last year.
About a dozen names are doing the rounds as contenders for the post but former MLA Trivendra Singh Rawat and former MLC Tirath Singh Rawat have emerged as the front-runners in the race, a senior party leader requesting anonymity said.
While Tirath Singh Rawat who comes from Sangh background has the backing of former chief minister Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri, Trivendra Singh Rawat has the support of another party stalwart and former CM Bhagat Singh Koshiyari.
The party`s central leadership is in constant touch with the state party leaders and considering at least half a dozen names which could provide strong leadership to the party in the state in view of the forthcoming civic body polls and the 2014 General Elections, party insiders said.
However, when asked whose chances are the brightest among the names doing the rounds, a highly placed party source said whoever manages to get the support of the three former BJP chief ministers of the state -- Khanduri, Koshiyari and Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank-- will finally emerge as the next chief of the Pradesh unit.
The three former BJP CMs are looked upon as three pillars of the party, and the next chief of the Pradesh unit who has to pilot the party in the next general elections must have their support, party sources said.
While Khanduri and Koshiyari have put forward their choices for consideration before the party`s central leadership, Nishank still holds his cards close to his chest, they said.
The central leadership will try to build a consensus among the three former party CMs before putting the final seal of approval on one candidate.
Other prominent names lobbying for the post are Mohan Singh Rawat `Gaonwasi`, Naresh Bansal, Narendra Pal Rawat, Vinod Uniyal, Khajan Das and Ajay Tamta.