Shimla: The BJP has won the state assembly election comfortably, but lost of important Sujanpur segment, where the party’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal was contesting, has created difficult situation for the party to choose its leader.
Even after Dhumal lost the election to Rajinder Rana, his supporters are adamant him to lead the government, but other section of the party wanted five times legislature Jai Ram Thakur a face of the government.
Party has appointed Union Ministers Nirmala Sitaraman and Narendra Singh Tomar central observers and even after holding consultations with the newly elected party MLAs, the party has failed to reach to the consensus and amidst the supporters protest, party decided to declare CM candidate from Delhi only.
Suspense over the name of Chief Minister Candidate making party workers anxious. With the name of Seraj legislature Jai Ram Thakur leading the race to the top post, supporters of Prem Kumar Dhumal today created unruly scene by shouted slogans at the Peterhoff Shimla and also disrupted party’s crucial meeting of the newly-elected party MLAs to pick the next chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. Agitated party workers also surrounded the vehicles of Sitharaman and Tomar when they had returned to their hotel room after paying a visit to the RSS office.
Sloganeering has angered Veteran party leader Shanta Kumar. He condemned the indiscipline of party workers and said “raising slogans in favour of any one leader is wrong. If I was the party president, I would have expelled such workers. I did not like it.”
“The people of the state have given a clear mandate. Those who have lost should not be given chance. The Chief Minister must be elected by new MLAs from amongst them,” Shanta Kumar said.
It’s learned that Shanta Kumar has also opposed the move to name Prem Kumar Dhumal a Chief Minister of the state even after losing the election. Veteran party leader said the party has a clear majority and there are several leaders capable of leading the party and that electing a defeated leader would send wrong signals, sources said.
Observers return to Delhi without naming CM Candidate
Meanwhile, the two-member central observer team have returned to Delhi today without giving any indication about the name of the next Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister.
BJP’s state in-charge Mangal Pandey confirmed returning of observers and assured to make decision on the name of the new chief minister on the basis of the ground report from Shimla.
It was earlier believed that the BJP had zeroed in on Seraj legislature Jairam Thakur as its CM candidate and a formal announcement to this effect was expected Friday. However, with the latest development in Shimla has only exposed a rift between the party cadres and newly elected legislatures.
BJP has won 44 assembly seats in the recent state election. However, party lost many key leaders viz. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Ravinder Ravi, Randhir Sharma, Satpal Satti, Maheshwar Singh, Rakesh Verma and Gulab Singh Thakur.