Tuesday, 27 February 2018 | PNS | Dehradun-
With Congress deciding against nominating any candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat from Uttarakhand, the leadership of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is left with an arduous task of selecting candidate for the seat which would be vacated after end of term of Mahendra Singh Mahara of Congress. With 57 MLA in the state assembly, the BJP enjoys an overwhelming majority and its candidate is sure to sail through in the elections.
The party however is faced with a situation where there are large numbers of aspirants for the lone seat from the state.
The names which are making rounds in political circles are former Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, President of state unit of Party Ajay Bhatt, National Spokesperson of BJP Anil Baluni, son of National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, Shaurya Doval, wife of cabinet minister Satpal Maharaj, Amrita Rawat and former president of state BJP Teerath Singh Rawat. Former CM Bahuguna who led a coup against the then Chief Minister Harish Rawat and joined BJP could get the nod of the party high command as it is widely believed that the party president Amit Shah had committed a Rajya Sabha entry to him when he broke away from the Congress party and joined BJP. His elevation however could ignite simmering dissent in the party cadre which is already not amused by the party’s decision to accommodate five leaders ( Harak Singh Rawat, Yashpal Arya, Satpal Maharaj, Subodh Uniyal and Rekha Arya) of Congress background in state cabinet.
In such a case the party could send the state party president Ajay Bhatt to the Upper House and make someone from among the MLA’s the party’s new state president. Senior cabinet minister Satpal Maharaj would like to see his wife Amrita Rawat get the all important nod of the party high command for the Rajya Sabha seat.
Maharaj’s uneasiness with the state Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat is well known. Maharaj was one of a Chief Ministerial candidate in the prelude the assembly elections held last year and it is believed that he was made to join the state cabinet led by Trivendra Singh Rawat by the central leaders on promise of some incentive in future.
Party insiders also believe that closeness to the party high command could tilt the balance in favour of national spokesperson Anil Baluni. Founding director of India Foundation and son of powerful NSA Ajit Doval, Shourya Doval could be a dark horse if the party decides to put its stake on a youngster and technocrat. He has recently stepped up his activities in Uttarakhand fuelling speculations about his political ambitions.
Party observers believe that someone from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) could also be the candidate if the party decides to further its ideology in the Upper House of parliament.
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