Dehradun, January 23
The elevation of Rajnath Singh as the national president of the BJP, who is on good terms with former Chief Minister BS Koshiyari, is bound to have an impact in Uttarakhand. The central leadership is likely to come up with a candidate of its choice for the post of state party president.

With consensus eluding the election of the state BJP president, the ball is now in the court of the central leadership to announce the candidate.
Both Koshiyari and Rajnath have been close associates and party sources say it will not be a surprise if the latter singles out Koshiyari to head the party. “In the immediate scenario, Rajnath will be eyeing the Lok Sabha elections to be held in 2014 or early and will have to deliver in order to strengthen his position in the party. What better than to hand the party reins in Uttarakhand to Koshiyari, who had delivered in the 2007 Assembly elections while heading the party in the state,” said a senior party leader.
Moreover, the BJP leaders have not forgotten the manner in which Koshiyari plotted Khanduri’s ouster in 2009 with Rajnath, who was then the national president of the party. Koshiyari had threatened to resign from the Rajya Sabha in 2009 in case his demand was not met. He was then persuaded by Rajnath to relent. The resignation did not happen and instead Khanduri lost the Chief Minister’s post.
Though Khanduri made a symbolic point by supporting Teerath Singh Rawat during the filing of nomination papers for the post of the party president, he along with Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank managed to channel resentment against the choice of Koshiyari. While picking a candidate for the post of the party president, Rajnath then has a task cut out for him.
The central and state leaderships of the party had on Sunday worked overtime persuading the two candidates belonging to different factions who had refused to withdraw their nominations. The dispute over the party post had erupted after the central leadership emissaries, Saudan Singh and Ram Lal, began telling the state leaders about Koshiyari being the unanimous choice of the central party core committee.
Several BJP leaders, who were sure of Nitin Gadkari’s re-election, had begun lobbying with him but with Rajnath taking the reins of the party the situation has dramatically changed, thus making things easier for Koshiyari.

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