By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 6 Jun: BJP State President, Ajay Bhatt has already completed his term and has also been elected Lok Sabha MP from Nainital for the first time. Sources claim that his term is unlikely to be extended any further and that soon, the process of organisational elections will start in the state unit following which, a new state president will be elected in Uttarakhand BJP. However, as per the sources, informal discussions are already underway to consider a suitable successor to the outgoing state party chief Ajay Bhatt. Sources informed that though the process of organisational polls would have started by now, the party preparations for the upcoming Panchayat polls in Uttarakhand have delayed it somewhat. However, since it is the elections of the district units followed by the state units which lead to the election of the BJP’s top executive body at the Centre, the necessity to elect a new party president following the current party president Amit Shah’s appointment as Union Home Minister has mandated timely completion of the organisational elections. Amit Shah’s term will end in December. Sources further claimed that the newly appointed Executive President of the party, JP Nadda is the most likely successor to Shah. It is for this reason, why he has not been repeated as a cabinet minister in the new Modi Government. In Uttarakhand, Bhatt had completed his second term as State Party Chief in December last and the constitution of the BJP does not allow anyone to be contest a third continuous term as party president. That is why, he was not re- nominated as Party Chief for another term by the party, but merely given an extension in view of the Parliamentary polls. Now that Bhatt himself has been elected as Lok Sabha MP from Nainital, he is likely to soon make way for a new party chief in Uttarakhand. Informal discussions over possible names to replace Bhatt have already begun even as officially the party is busy with preparations for the Panchayat polls. Speaking to this correspondent, Bhatt indicated that he would like to relinquish his responsibilities as state party chief at the earliest since, he had become preoccupied as a parliamentarian. He also reminded that the party had already given him more than he could ever dream of. Though the party constitution did not permit two positions simultaneously, he was fortunate enough to be state party chief as well as the Leader of the Opposition for a long time. Bhatt also indicated that he would not like to involve much in the election process but admitted that the organisational polls had been delayed somewhat due to upcoming Panchayat polls in the state. Once the preparations were complete, the organisational polls would soon be completed here. He added that he was content with his term as party president as the party had performed well at all levels. Party sources admitted that there was speculation within the party for a while that Naresh Bansal could be chosen as the next Party chief in the state and he had also been appointed Executive Party President here during the recent Lok Sabha elections since Bhatt was busy in his own campaign as a party candidate from Nainital. However, some controversies did break out during this short while and soon after the polls, Bansal was removed as Executive President and continued as Vice Chairman of 20 Point Programme Implementation Committee of Uttarakhand Government, a Lal Batti post. Officially, the party took the stand that it firmly believed in one person one post theory. Sources claimed that the next party chief also was likely to be from Kumaon and could again be a Brahmin. They also indicated that the next party chief could also be a party MLA from Kumaon and that by exercising this option, at least one contender to the post of minister in Trivendra Singh Rawat would be adjusted. Even otherwise the state assembly polls were still about 3 good years away and hence, if required, any changes could be brought in at a later stage too. Sources further indicated that the CM was likely to expand his council of ministers soon now.