"BJP has not selected any leader as its Chief Ministerial candidate for Delhi Assembly election. Whatever decision is taken on the issue will be finalised by the Parliamentary Board," former BJP president and party in-charge of Delhi polls, Nitin Gadkari said.
The statement by Gadkari came following speculation that the central leadership of the party had narrowed down its choice of Chief Ministerial candidate to Vardhan, a former minister who has a clean image and wide acceptability among the Delhi party stalwarts.
Sources in the party said a number of senior Delhi leaders have conveyed to the central leadership their unhappiness over the style of functioning of city BJP chief Vijay Goel. They said a sizable number of party leaders have last week conveyed to the central leadership that the party must have a chief ministerial face to take on formidable Congress incumbent Sheila Dikshit.
Expressing opposition to Delhi BJP chief Goel, several leaders of the party's Delhi unit have also conveyed to the leadership that they will not resist any move to declare Vardhan as the Chief Ministerial candidate.
They said Vardhan, a former Delhi minister and senior party leader, has a clean image and that he would be able to put up a united fight to dethrone the Congress dispensation which has been in power for the last 15 years.
Accusing Goel of encouraging factionalism dividing the party ahead of the elections, a number of senior leaders have conveyed to Gadkari their grievances. They said the party leadership is likely to take a final decision on Chief Ministerial candidate after completing the process of selecting the candidates for the polls.