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BJP set to name Harshavardhan candidate for Delhi CM's post

October 21, 2013 19:40 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party appears set to announce the name of Harshavardhan as its chief ministerial candidate for Delhi by the end of this month despite internal squabbles and a virtual threat from state unit head Vijay Goel to quit if a decision to the effect was taken.

The party brass indicated it had decided on Harshavardhan as its chief ministerial candidate. The matter came up for discussion on the sidelines of the Central Election Committee meeting on Sunday and the decision was taken there.

"BJP is likely to call a Parliamentary Board meeting, tentatively on October 31 to finalise Harshavardhan's name," a senior party leader said.

Since the Central Election Committee, comprising BJP's Parliamentary Board members and a few other leaders, is likely to meet on October 31 to discuss the candidates for the Madhya Pradesh polls, the decision on the Delhi CM candidate may be taken before that.

The final decision on Harshavardhan was, however, not taken on Sunday as Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, is yet to return from a visit to the US.

LK Advani, Narendra Modi, Jaitley and the RSS favour Harshavardhan.

The turning point came when Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, too, agreed to Harshavardhan's name.

Party sources said the decision on Harshavardhan had been conveyed to Goel, his bete noire.

Goel has been asked to accept the decision without creating any fuss, they added. He had reportedly threatened to resign from the post of Delhi unit president when told about the likelihood of Harshavardhan being made the chief ministerial candidate.

"Goel has been told in clear terms that if he carried out his threat to resign, his resignation letter will be accepted," a senior party leader said.

Goel, meanwhile, told reporters today that he was not in the race for being named the chief ministerial candidate.

Asked about Goel's comments, the party's Delhi election in-charge, Nitin Gadkari, said, "The BJP Parliamentary Board and the party president will take a decision on the issue. There is no race in the party for being the CM candidate." 

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