New Delhi, Nov 26 (UNI) The BJP today decided to project Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, MP, as its chief ministerial candidate in the ongoing Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections and move its senior state leader Shanta Kumar to the national politics.
A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting of party's Parliamentary Board this morning presided over by BJP president Rajnath Singh. Several senior leaders including L K Advani, Jaswant Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi attended the meeting in the presence of Mr Dhumal and Shanta Kumar.
Announcing the party's decision, Mr Rajnath Singh said the Parliamentary Board's decision was taken after detailed consultations with the state party leaders. This would mean that Mr Dhumal, who had entered Lok Sabha in the recent by-election, will move back to state politics where the party felt it had good chances of wresting power from the Congress after next month's hustings.
Mr Dhumal, accepting the party's decision, said he would work for the party's success under the guidance of Mr Shanta Kumar. Mr Shanta Kumar on his part said he would work for the success of the party in the coming polls.
Asked about BJP's move on bringing back former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti into the part-fold, the BJP president said the issue was not discussed in today's meeting.
Following an appeal from Swami Vishvesha Tirthaji of Pejawar Mutt in Karnataka not to divide Hindutva and nationalist forces, Ms Bharti has announced that she would not field candidates in Gujarat assembly elections. He had also asked the BJP to take Uma Bharti, his disciple, back to the party-fold. The BJP president had stated that the party would take a decision on the wishes expressed by the Pejawar seer.