As part of efforts to set its house in, the BJP has replaced its state unit chief Khimi Ram Sharma with two time MLA from Una Satpal Satti.
Satpal Satti, chief parliamentary secretary, turned out to be a name acceptable to all in the state unit, party sources said. BJP President Nitin Gadkari had deputed a two-member damage control team to the state on a mission to find a “neutral” candidate, putting the Himachal Pradesh unit on its toes following rebellion within. Gadkari, in a statement announcing the decision on Monday night, said keeping in mind the political situation in the state, Sharma had tendered his resignation.
The two member team of state leaders J P Nadda and Shyam Jaju had placed a list of around four names before Gadkari on Saturday night after consultations with all concerned including those close to chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and party leader Shanta Kumar in the state.
The other names doing the rounds included Roop Singh Thakur, Randhir Sharma and Kirpal Parmar. Satti, a young MLA from Una, was a student leader with the ABVP.
The team was asked to come up with its suggestions to contain any further strife within the party in the state, which is headed for election this year end. Gadkari was apparently upset that his suggestion to replace the party president had not been acted upon even after six months. Sharma was Dhumal’s choice in the hope that a Brahmin state unit chief would balance out with a Thakur chief minister.
However, this formula did not work. When signs of rebellion started emerging in the party, Dhumal was asked to change the state president. However, Dhumal was buying time and Jaju was given the job. In the meantime, dissidents led by former four-time MP Maheshwar Singh quit BJP and announced the formation of Himachal Pradesh Lokhit Party ( HPLP). Maheshwar Singh led party has already snatched many of BJP’s man to its fort and as the days passes it is many BJP’s workers are joining HPLP.