The crisis in the ruling BJP is likely to continue with veteran party leader Shanta Kumar reportedly refusing to budge from his stand that he will not have any involvement in the party affairs in the state.
Party president Nitin Gadkari had deputed a two-member central team comprising JP Nadda and Shyam Jaju to review the functioning of the party and the Dhumal government in light of issues like corruption, nepotism and neglect of his supporters raised by the aggrieved leader. The team, which visited the state last week, had, after interacting with a cross-section of the party men, prepared a report and also drawn up a proposal for making some changes in the organisational structure.
The entire exercise was carried out while Shanta Kumar was on a private visit to Bangkok. The team met him soon after his return to Delhi yesterday and apprised him of the feedback gathered from the party men and also the changes proposed to revamp the party organisation. However, sources said there was no response from the leader who stuck to his position that he would not associate with the party in Himachal Pradesh in any manner. He was reportedly unhappy over the fact that the team had exceeded its brief by giving a clean chit to the government and asserting that all was well with the party.
He is learnt to have bluntly told the team that the high command was free to make whatever changes it wanted as he had completely withdrawn from the state and had no stakes in the party. If all was well than there was no need to revamp the party. He would remain aloof as far as the party affairs in the state were concerned.
The team submitted its report to Gadkari late in the evening and apprised him of the discussion it had with Shanta Kumar. The tough posture adopted by the two-time Chief Minister was quite unexpected and has complicated matters.
Shanta Kumar has not been attending the party meetings for the past 18 months and with the high command refusing to take notice of the issues raised by him, he finally decided to severe all ties with the state BJP.