NEW DELHI

Khurana likely to head Delhi BJP

NEW DELHI JULY 3. In the fast changing political scenario and major changes within the BJP, the Delhi unit has also come under the scanner of the party high command. There are firm indications that the Delhi BJP president, Mange Ram Garg, is being asked to bow out with the Delhi prabhari, Madan Lal Khurana, all set to replace him.

It is learnt that the new party president, Venkaiah Naidu, is keen to reorganise Delhi unit as the party has to contest Assembly elections, next year. As part of grand plans to revitalise the party and regain the lost confidence of the people, especially the middle class, the party is all set to effect a change in the State leadership. Insiders in the party told The Hindu that Mr. Khurana is keen to once again take up the job of the party president in order to revive the sinking fortunes of the party.

There is little doubt that under the leadership of Mr. Garg, the BJP in Delhi has been marginalised and is largely seen as ineffective. The rout in the MCD polls has sent the party into a self introspection mode and it was felt that in order to rejuvenate the party, there has to be a change in the leadership at the State level. Not only has the party failed to put up a strong challenge to the Sheila Dikshit Government but also to effectively raise issues affecting the people of the Capital. The problems of Mr. Garg got further compounded with the Sangh Parivar pulling the plug. Earlier, the RSS had strongly backed the candidature of Mr. Garg but now it thinks the present incumbent had to go.

It is understood that Mr. Khurana enjoys a good rapport with Mr. Naidu and the all-powerful party spokesman, Arun Jaitely, who is going to have a major say in who represents Delhi. It is believed that the possible installation of Mr. Khurana could come with a massive shake-up in the organisational set-up. It would give a clear indication that the party has opted for old guard to steer the BJP out of troubled waters in Delhi and ensure that the party stands up to the Congress challenge. No doubt the appointment of Mr. Khurana as the Delhi BJP president would rejuvenate the party and boost the morale of workers but he could find the going tough in view of strong opposition by a faction of the party.

Mr. Khurana's troubles could begin with Mr. Garg, who would demand his pound of flesh in the new set-up. The bitterness between Mr. Khurana and Mr. Malhotra would also come in way of uniting the party. Many party MPs do not get along with the former Chief Minister and call him a person with an over-bearing attitude.

According to a famous saying for Mr. Khurana in the party, if Mr. Khurana is the prabhari, then the State president is irrelevant. If Mr. Khurana is the State president, then the prabhari is only for coordination and nothing else. If he is the Chief Minister then other Ministers virtually do not exist. Many partymen have time and again cited the individualistic and one-man show approach of Mr. Khurana as the major impediment for the party coming together.

However, if Mr. Khurana is made the Delhi BJP unit president, he will give the Congress a run for the money as he is well acquainted with the tricks of the trade. He also has the knack for making a mountain out of a molehill and taking to streets on sensitive issues. Being the most recognised face of BJP in Delhi, he would surely prove to be a pain for the Sheila Dikshit Government and an asset for the party.

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