BJP banks on Dhumal to stage a comeback in HP

BJP banks on Dhumal to stage a comeback in HP

BJP banks on Dhumal to stage a comeback in HP

The BJP move to bring back Prem Kumar Dhumal as the CM candidate nine days ahead of the November 9 Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections is not just to counter the Congress contention that it had no leader -- but because its other choice, J P Nadda, could have left a house more divided.

Dhumal would be leading the party in the polls for the fifth time in succession, party president Amit Shah announced at a poll rally in Himachal Pradesh on Monday. The BJP's decision is being considered a setback for Union minister Nadda who was a key aspirant for the chief minister's post. It is learnt that PM Narendra Modi was not very keen to project Nadda and due to that reason the BJP's central leadership had decided to wage battle with the ruling Congress without a face.

Nadda tweeted on Tuesday evening to congratulate Dhuman, 73, for becoming the party's poll mascot.

The reports of internal differences between the three camps led by Dhumal, Nadda and Shanta Kumar was also a factor that weighed upon the leadership to declare the CM face closer to the polling. The other reason being cited is that by relying on the veteran leader, the BJP has tried to balance out Rajput voters as the Congress is relying on Chief Minister Veerbhandra Singh to beat the anti-incumbency factor in the polls. Rajputs account for 37 percent of total population of the state.

The former chief minister had publicly urged the BJP brass on various occasions that he be announced as the campaign leader.

Interestingly, the party had nominated Trivendra Singh Rawat, a Rajput, as the chief minister of another hill state of Uttarakhand that is dominated by upper caste politics.

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