No consensus, BJP puts off U’khand chief polls
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The BJP Friday postponed election for the president of its Uttarakhand unit till January 20 for want of consensus.
Not that it didn't try hard. But when both candidates in the race are backed by powerful leaders — Teerath Singh Rawat by former chief ministers B C Khanduri and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Trivendra Singh Rawat by another former chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari — consensus is rather difficult to build.
Vijay Goel, the central observer for the election, did his best to get the state leaders to agree on a name. "He visited Khanduri, Nishank and Koshiyari as well as Leader of Opposition Ajay Bhatt," a source in the BJP said. But his efforts didn't bear fruit.
Soon, Teerath was in the office of election officer Kedar Joshi, flaunting his strong support: he filed not one but five sets of nomination papers, each with names of 10 proposers who vote in the election. In all, there are 74 voters who will elect the state president.
Some time later, Khanduri showed up. "His presence at the BJP office reflected that he is not ready to disappoint his supporters who back Teerath for the post," a BJP leader said. Sources said Nishank had met Khanduri two days ago and extended his support to Teerath.
The central BJP leadership, however, favoured Koshiyari for the post. "But when he could not see consensus on his name, he decided to put up Trivendra," a source said.
Goel, meanwhile, did not give up. He called Khanduri, Nishank and Koshiyari to a hotel and held talks to build a consensus. "His attempt failed and he told the election officer to extend time for withdrawal of nomination," the source said.
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