Nadda’s appointment sets alarm bells ringing in Himachal BJP

Shimla: With two prominent state BJP leaders picked up by president Nitin Gadkari for the national team, it has caused a tectonic shift in alignments within the party here that sources say indicate the future course of the leadership being groomed.

Other than old guard Shanta Kumar being made vice-president, its was appointment of forest minister JP Nadda as party general secretary, last Tuesday, that has set alarm bells ringing in chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal camp, said a party insider.

Nadda, who earlier failed in his bid to become state party president, took no time to resign from the Dhumal ministry on Thursday to abide by the party stance of one man one post. However, the chief minister has asked him to continue in office till end of ongoing budget session.

Much to the annoyance of Shanta Kumar, Dhumal had succeeded in getting his man Khimmi Ram appointed as state party president over Nadda, who was the formers choice.

A senior leader from Dhumal’s camp on conditions of anonymity said, “the development of Nadda being made party general secretary does not augur well for the state leadership. It would have been less harmful had he been allowed to become state party president.”

He added that the party high command’s differences with the state leadership was already becoming visible as the chief minister could not swing the party decision of giving the Rajya Sabha ticket to his nominee Chandermohan Thakur and instead had to settle for Bimla Kashyap as a compromise candidate.

“The Shanta Kumar camp stalled Thakur’s candidature and in the process abandoned the bid of Radha Raman Shastri, a senior BJP leader, who was their choice for the upper house, he disclosed.

Steering clear of any controversy before taking up his new assignment in Delhi, Nadda for the record said, “I’m an organizational man and will discharge any duty the party entrusts me with to the best of my abilities.”

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