Gadkari , Dhumal talks fail , Shanta walks out

Shimla : Efforts by the BJP chief Nitin Gadkari to resolve the ongoing political crisis within Himachal Pradesh’s BJP received a setback Thursday with the deadlock continuing .

Gadkari had summoned top state party leaders of both the factions including chief minister P.K.Dhumal to Delhi after some rebel leaders left the party last week and formed a new political outfit the Himachal Lokhit Party(HLP) .

Top party sources told the Hill Post that veteran leader Shanta Kumar who is seen close to the rebel leaders walked out of the meeting in a huff after refusing to mediate and woo back the rebels .

Kumar is reported to have told Gadkari that just like the rebel leaders he too was concerned about the growing corruption at high places but his concerns had not been addressed by both Dhumal and Gadkari .

“Why should I mediate with the rebel leaders when I have been boycotting party meetings for almost two years now as nobody listens to me ,” Kumar was quoted as saying by a party source .

“I will only attend the state level party meetings if L.K.Advani and other senior leaders take part ,” he added.

On the other hand Dhumal said the concerns of the rebel leaders were given a full hearing by him and the party and there was coordination between the party workers and his government .

His supporters maintain Dhumal was not pulled up at the meeting by Gadkari and still remains strong and an undisputed leader to head the BJP in the state .

There was also talk of replacing state BJP chief Khimi Ram as a compromise between both the factions .

Sources said national general secretary J.P.Nadda and co-incharge Shyam Joshi have been deputed by the party to visit the state within a week .

These two leaders will interact with BJP workers and submit their report to the high command amid worries that more disgruntled cadres could leave the party and join HLP.

It may be recalled last week the state BJP received a major jolt when former minister and speaker Radha Raman Shastri , ex-MP Maheshwar Singh , Mohinder Sofat and Shyama Sharma left the party on the issue of rampant corruption within the ruling BJP .

They accused Dhumal and other leaders of promoting corruption and indulging in illegal land transactions .

They also accused Gadkari for ignoring their complaints , Gadkari on the other hand said their charges were vague .

Himachal Pradesh goes to the assembly polls later this year.

In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.

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