Monday, 12 March 2018 | PNS | Dehradun-
National spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Anil Baluni is all set to become a member of Rajya Sabha (RS) from Uttarakhand. Though no official declaration from BJP was made till the time of filing this report, party sources said that the name of young and suave leader has got the nod of the party high command. It is also learnt that Baluni has left Delhi for Dehradun. He is likely to reach here late Sunday night.
BJP insiders said that he would file his papers of the RS seat from Uttarakhand on Monday which also is also the last date for nomination for the RS polls. The election of Baluni from the RS seat necessitated by the retirement of Mahendra Singh Mahara is a mere formality as the opposition Congress has decided not to field its candidate.
The name of Baluni who belongs to Pauri district of Uttarakhand has been making rounds for some time along with former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and state party chief Ajay Bhatt. The party leadership appeared wary of the Congress background of Bahuguna who switched to BJP after he led a coup against the then Congress chief minister Harish Rawat. Observers say that his selection could have triggered resentment in the party cadre which has remained in the sulk mode after several of the ‘turncoats’ like Harak Singh Rawat, Yashpal Arya, Satpal Maharaj, Subodh Uniyal and Rekha Arya were accommodated in the state cabinet. Sending Ajay Bhatt to the Upper House would have created a situation where the party would have to scout for another leader to head the state unit. The party brass is not much enthusiastic to disturb the existing applecart, a party insider confided. He further said that Baluni enjoying confidence of the BJP national level big wigs has tilted the scale in his favour.
After filing of nominations on March 12, the scrutiny of the nomination papers would be done on March 13 while the last date for withdrawing is on March 15. The day of voting if required is kept on March 23. The voting would take place from 9 am to 4 pm at Bharadisain near Gairsain where the budget session of the state Assembly is slated from March 20.
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