Sushil Modi aide to be next Bihar BJP president
Patna: Mangal Pandey, an aide of BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who was the architect of JD(U)-BJP coalition in Bihar, will take over as state party president on Friday.
44-year-old Pandey was the sole candidate to file nomination for the post, the deadline for which ended this evening.
Pandey filed seven sets of nomination papers with Modi being among 107 state executive members proposing his candidature, election officer Arti Mehra told reporters.
Outgoing state BJP president C P Thakur, who was said to be sulking after being denied a second term by BJP national leadership, did not visit the party office, much to the embarassment of the central leaders gathered to showcase a united face.
Thakur, who had served as a union minister in NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, refused to meet central leaders like Ananth Kumar and Dharmendra Pradhan when they tried to contact him.
Thakur's supporters shouted slogans against the BJP national leadership at the Jai Prakash Narayan International Airport and thumped the bonnet of the vehicle in which the national leaders were to be driven to the party office.
Before the situation could turn for the worse, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Giriraj Singh intervened and managed to clear the way for central leaders Ananth Kumar and Dharmendra Pradhan among others.
The Deputy Chief Minister, considered the tallest leader
of the party in the state, successfully convinced the central leadership to make Pandey, a young and non-controversial face, the new state unit chief to keep afloat the ties with JD(U) and the coalition government in the state which witnessed some troubled moments during the tenure of Thakur.
The election was considered important in view of perceived threat to BJP-JD(U) ties in the event of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar walking out of the alliance if his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi was made the Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014.
The seven-year old partnership between JD(U) and BJP had come under stress recently with a section of state BJP leaders, including Thakur, giving statements in support of the Gujarat Chief Minister as the party's nominee for the prime ministerial post.
Kumar had on several occasions taken an anti-Narendra Modi stand by pitching for a secular person be projected as NDA's prime ministerial candidate.