LAST MINUTE CHOICE
What made the BJP announce P.K. Dhumal as its chief ministerial face in Himachal Pradesh at the last minute? BJP leaders claim that it’s party strategy as to when the name will be announced. But of course it was much more than that. BJP sources claim that earlier the plan was to impose an RSS pracharak as the Chief Minister face, on the lines of the M.L. Khattar model in Haryana. Ajay Jamwal, an RSS pracharak and organisational state general secretary, had been shortlisted for the post. But perhaps the BJP realised the indispensability of Dhumal in taking on Virbhadra Singh. Towards the fag end of the campaign, it was clear that the Congress CM was not as unpopular as they had calculated. On the other hand, it soon became clear that though J.P. Nadda had a say in ticket distribution, the Central minister was not as popular on the ground as Dhumal. In addition, the Prime Minister and Dhumal have always had a warm working equation. So, the BJP changed strategy at the last minute by announcing Dhumal as the CM face. And on ground reports of election day in Himachal say that this was a wise move.