While there is uncertainty over the next chief minister of Uttarakhand after Pushkar Singh Dhami lost in the assembly polls, the BJP leadership has started consultations with the MLAs. On the other hand, the Goa BJP is waiting for direction from the central leadership to elect its new chief minister.
Sources said that BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and others held informal consultations with the MLAs in Uttarakhand capital Dehradun. “To get a sense of the MLAs’ mood, Vijayvargiya has met a few of them. The exercise has started to find the next chief minister after the party’s victory and Dhami’s loss,” they said.
After Dhami lost in the assembly polls from Khatima constituency, several names have started doing the rounds in Uttarakhand political circles. Minister of state for defence Ajay Bhatt is likely to emerge the frontrunner.
A party insider said that there is a section in the party which feels that Dhami should be given a chance for the hard work he put in to ensure a BJP victory. “However, there is another section which believes that making Dhami the chief minister will set a wrong precedent and in the future many others will start claiming the post after losing the election,” he said.
The BJP has retained power for a second term in Uttarakhand by winning 47 seats in the 70-member House.
The BJP leadership will soon appoint central observers to select the chief ministers in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Manipur. “The party parliamentary board, a key decision making body, will appoint central observers to call the legislative party meeting to select the chief ministers in four states,” a party insider said.
The Goa BJP is also waiting for a direction from the central leadership to kick-off the process of forming the next government. A senior party functionary said that the ‘best suitable face will be the next chief minister of Goa’.
When asked if there is a possibility that incumbent chief minister Pramod Sawant, who successfully led the party in the assembly polls, will be replaced, he said, “Chances of Sawant have not been ruled out, he is the first choice, but the opinion of the central leadership and others will also be taken into consideration.” The BJP has won 20 of the 40 assembly constituencies in Goa.