By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 19 Mar: The meeting of the new BJP Legislative Party due to be held on 20 March will now be held on 21 March according to the party sources. The sources further informed that the oath ceremony of the new CM and his cabinet would now most likely be held on 22 March. Party observers nominated by the party high command for the meeting of the Legislative party, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of State Meenakshi Lekhi are now expected to arrive late on 20 March or in the morning of 21 March itself, which is the day of the meeting. A short meeting of the BJP Core Group is also likely to be held before the meeting of the legislative party. According to the party sources those in the race for the post of CM include the outgoing CM Pushkar Singh Dhami, Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni, outgoing Cabinet Minister Satpal Maharaj, outgoing Cabinet Minister Dhan Singh Rawat, Union Minister Ajay Bhatt and even former CM Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. Amongst others reportedly lobbying for the post include Prem Chand Aggarwal, Madan Kaushik, Ritu Khanduri and Rekha Arya Party insiders also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah this evening held a closed door meeting with Party President JP Nadda and Party General Secretary (Organisation) BL Santoshi to discuss the Uttarakhand scenario and probably finalise who will be the next CM. The sources claimed that despite the fact that BJP does not have a trend of appointing those who are defeated as CM but still Dhami leads the race for the top post because of his performance as CM in past six months and his role behind the party’s victory across the state. Hence, it will not be a surprise if an exception is made in case of Dhami by the party. Today the BJP State Party President Madan Kaushik addressed the media where he said that the Uttarakhand BJP would be inviting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and many others including the BJP CMs to the oath ceremony which would be held on a grand scale. It may be recalled that the results of the elections for the fifth assembly of Uttarakhand were declared on 10 March. The BJP won 47 seats out of the total 70 seats, while the Congress could win only 19 seats. At the same time, BSP won two seats and independents two. Aam Aadmi Party could not even open its account. However, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami lost his own election from Khatima assembly seat. He was defeated by Bhuvan Kapri of INC by nearly 7000 votes. This loss is the reason, why the party has to seriously mull on who will be the next CM of Uttarakhand.