BJP appoints observers to decide on CM candidates for Gujarat and Himachal
The BJP on Monday appointed observers for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh to oversee the selection of chief ministers in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
The observers will meet the elected members of the legislative assemblies and submit the report to party chief Amit Shah. Based on the report submitted by the observers party will make decision about the Chief Ministerial candidates for the two states.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and party general secretary Saroj Pandey have been sent to Gujarat, while defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and minister of steel Narendra Singh Tomar will be in Himachal Pradesh to attend the meeting of legislature parties in the two states.
In Gujarat the party might continue with incumbent Vijay Rupani while in Himachal it will have to decide on a new CM as the projected candidate for the post, Kumar Dhumal, was trailing from Sujanpur seat to his once time protégé Rajinder Rana by about 3,000 votes.
In a shock upset for the BJP, its chief minister candidate in Himachal Pradesh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, was defeated despite his party coasting to a comfortable win overall.
He lost to Congress candidate Rajinder Rana in Sujanpur.
A two-time former chief minister, Dhumal's loss puts his party in a fix, and it must now pick a new head of the state government.
According to the sources, the Union Health Minister is a Rajya Sabha MP from Himachal Pradesh, and could be the first choice for the CM's job. Nadda, 57, has extensive knowledge of the hill state. He has been an MLA in 1993, 1998 and 2007 when he was made the forest, environment, and science and technology minister.
In Gujarat, chief minister Vijay Rupani is likely to continue as the chief minister even though names of Union minister Parshottam Rupala and Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala were also doing the rounds. Rupani is considered BJP's national president Amit Shah's choice for the CM's post.