With the Congress appearing a divided house in poll-bound Uttarakhand, the BJP is confident of retaining power in the hill state as the party's central leaders feel that the appointment of a young Pushkar Singh Dhami as chief minister has helped it counter the negative publicity of changing CM twice within a few months.
Union minister and the BJP's poll incharge for the state Pralhad Joshi has already made it clear that the party will contest the elections under Dhami's leadership and that he will again take up the top job once the party comes to power again in 2022. The BJP's central leaders have been heaping praise on Dhami with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh comparing his performance with former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's "relentless batting" in T-20 matches and seeking a full five-year term for him.
Dhami is doing a "relentless batting" like Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a 20-20 match and deserves a "full-length, five-year" test match chance, Singh has recently said in one of his rallies in Uttarakhand. When contacted, BJP general secretary and incharge of the state Dushyant Gautam said, "It is very clear that the party will contest elections under the leadership of Dhami. In a short span of time he has taken various measures for expediting the pace of development in the state."
Gautam further said the party has given a young chief minister to a young state, whereas the Congress is a divided house and witnessing infighting over its face for the assembly elections due early next year. Another senior leader of the party said Dhami's deft handling of the political situation, especially after the changing of chief minister twice within a few months, and his effective administration have brought the party in a strong position.
"Dhami's diligent handling of politics and coordination with senior leaders have brought back the BJP in a strong contention to form the government again," the leader said in Delhi. The 45-year-old Dhami became the youngest chief minister of the state in July, replacing Tirath Singh Rawat who resigned within four months of taking charge from Trivendra Singh Rawat.
There are broadly two centres of politics in Uttarakhand -- Kumaon and Garhwal -- and Dhami frequently visited both regions during his tenure of about six months to maintain a balance, party leaders said. Many party leaders have already made it clear that he will be the party's chief ministerial candidate and his views on selection of candidates would also be given due importance.Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to address a rally in Haldwani later this week.
-With PTI Inputs