By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 30 Jul: Speculation that BJP State President Madan Kaushik will be replaced soon had been doing rounds in political circles for past one week now, and the speculation turned out to be true today when BJP’s Central leadership appointed former two time MLA Mahendra Bhatt as new BJP State President. Before this, late last night, BJP State President Madan Kaushik had resigned from the post on the direction of the BJP’s Central leadership. It may also be pertinent to point out here that BJP’s central leadership had also asked the UP BJP President Swatantra Dev Singh also to resign yesterday and since then the speculation had become rife. So far, BJP has not announced any new BJP State President in UP. There the stakes are much higher and the party leadership is bound to consider many factors on political grounds before deciding on the new leader.
It may also be pertinent to point out that amid the speculation what was rife through past week about Kaushik being replaced, Bhatt had called on BJP President JP Nadda on Wednesday. Sources claimed that Bhatt had been summoned by Nadda and given indication in this respect. Sources further claim that Kaushik has also been given indication that soon he might be given some responsibility within the BJP organisation at the national level. However, sources also claim that Kaushik was rather keen on getting a cabinet berth in the Dhami Government and may lobby for this. It remains to be seen what will happen ultimately in this respect. Kaushik’s term as BJP State President would have got over in September but the replacement has come two months earlier itself.
Hours after the announcement was made in respect of Mahendra Bhatt, Bhatt reached the BJP State Headquarters this afternoon and took charge as the new BJP State President in the presence of outgoing BJP State President Madan Kaushik. On his reaching the BJP State Headquarters here today, Mahendra Bhatt was warmly welcomed by the party workers as well as party office bearers. A large number of workers had arrived from all over the state, especially from Chamoli district, to welcome him.
Speaking on the occasion in presence of Kaushik after taking over as the new BJP State President, Bhatt thanked the party leadership. He said that he was grateful for the confidence the central leadership had reposed in him. The party had reposed faith in an ordinary worker like him and he would try his best to live up to the expectations of the Party central leadership and claimed that collective decisions would be taken in the organisation during his tenure. Of course there are several political implications of the big change.
Bhatt added that he would try his best to live up to the responsibility that has been given to him and what was expected of him. Together with the Chief Minister, the party would work for the development of the people and the region. His task was to ensure party win first in Haridwar Panchayat polls and later in the civic polls and then in the Parliamentary Elections of 2024. Outgoing President Madan Kaushik congratulated Bhatt for his new responsibility and expressed confidence that under his leadership the party would win every challenge and every upcoming election. Kaushik further said that Bhatt had a long experience of working in the party organisation and this experience would be useful in running the party. A large number of party leaders and workers were present on this occasion.
There are questions why Kaushik could not have been allowed to complete his term. Some political analysts see this development, taking into account the Panchayat polls and Parliamentary elections. Haridwar did not yield satisfactory results in the recent assembly elections and this could also be a reason why Kaushik was replaced. The party may bring in several changes in the party organisation in Haridwar and Udham Singh Nagar districts in weeks and months to come with the objective of strengthening the party in these two districts.
Later Mahendra Bhatt also called on Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami at the Chief Minister’s residence. He also met other senior leaders of the party.
Photo Caption: The newly appointed BJP State President, Mahendra Bhatt, paid a courtesy call on the Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami at the Chief Minister’s residence on Saturday. The Chief Minister congratulated him on being made the BJP State President. He said that the state organisation would get new strength under the guidance of Bhatt.