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Live: BJP names Harsh Vardhan as Delhi CM candidate

Updated: October 23, 2013, 11:56 AM IST
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Live: BJP names Harsh Vardhan as Delhi CM candidate
Initially there was no chair for Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel at the press conference. A BJP worker hurriedly brought in a chair for him.

New Delhi: 1:25 pm: BJP has the right to choose whoever it wants, says Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

12:22 pm: Sidelined by the party, Vijay Goel says he is not upset by the decision. He says, "I am not upset, the Parliamentary Board has taken a decision and I have told all workers that they should assist Harsh Vardhan. The party is united, we have worked very hard in the last 8 months. In 40 years, I have followed discipline of party. My party has appreciated my work, sometimes decisions may not be favourable to us."

12:21 pm: On Harsh Vardhan's elevation, AAP leader Manish Sisodia says, "The BJP has told that they do not have a strong voice against Sheila Dikshit's corruption. Harsh Vardhan has never spoken against corruption by Congress in Delhi. In fact he had once appreciated Sheila Dikshit as the chief minister. How will he fight against corruption?"

He adds, "Like Manmohan Singh has kept quite against corruption in Congress, Harsh Vardhan has kept quite against corruption by BJP. Both BJP and Congress are two sides of the same coin. Now only AAP has the strength to contest against Congress and defeat the Congress government in Delhi.

12:13 pm: There are celebrations at Harsh Vardhan's residence after the announcement was made.

12:12 pm: Congress leader Jagdish Tytler says there is no comparison to Sheila Dikshit. Harsh Vardhan has no contribution as an Opposition as he has never opened his mouth in the Assembly in 15 years. The BJP was very confident when they made Vijay Goel the state BJP chief, see what happened.

12:07 pm: Senior BJP leader LK Advani said that the first Lok Sabha seat the party won was New Delhi. "So this city is important to us," said Advani while hoping that the BJP will be able to defeat the Congress party in the December 4 elections. He added that Vijay Goel has accepted the decision to name Harsh Vardhan as the chief ministerial candidate for Delhi polls.

12:03 pm: Applauding Harsh Vardhan, Rajnath Singh said that he had worked as the president of Delhi BJP unit for 5 years. "He has received applauds for his performance when he was the health minister of Delhi," said Rajnath.

12:02 pm: BJP President Rajnath Singh announces Harsh Vardhan as the chief ministerial candidate for the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections.

12:01 pm: There is no chair for Delhi BJP President Vijay Goel at the press conference. BJP workers hurriedly bring in a chair for him.

11:50 am: All BJP Parliamentary Board members except Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi are present in the meeting. Modi's consent was taken in the last Parliamentary Board meeting.

11:35 am: Harsh Vardhan, Vijay Goel attends the meeting to name Delhi chief ministerial candidate. Vijay Goel refuses to comment on the meeting.

11:20 am: BJP Parliamentary Board meeting begins.

10:47 am: Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel visits BJP office and asks his supporters to support Harsh Vardhan as the BJP's chief ministerial candidate in Delhi.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to announce its Delhi chief ministerial candidate on Wednesday in a Parliamentary Board meeting. There were reports 0on infighting within the party as Delhi BJP President Vijay Goel had urged the party top brass to name his as the chief ministerial candidate.

The party leadership has, however, made up its mind to name former Delhi Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan as its CM candidate. The decision of the party had been conveyed to Harsh Vardhan even as Vijay Goel too had thrown his hat into the ring.

Harsh Vardhan's rival Vijay Goel seemed to be backing him, at least publicly. Goel visited the BJP state party office in the morning and told his supporters to back Harsh Vardhan as the chief ministerial candidate. Meanwhile, the BJP said its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has decided to campaign in Delhi for only a day.

According to reports all efforts will be made by the party to rope in Vijay Goel too for the Delhi Assembly elections on December 4, 2013.

Harsh Vardhan had earlier denied reports of a rift within the party over the chief ministerial candidate and said that it is not important who is given what post. He had also called reports of difference with Vijay Goel baseless and a creation of the media.

"It is not important who get what post. We take inspiration from leaders like Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and works done by Atalji & Advaniji," Harsh Vardhan had said.

He had added, "Our central leaders will take decisions and we will abide by it. I am no one to say when or who should be the chief ministerial candidate, it is for the party to decide. The people will answer the opposition. I don't need to say anything to them."

Harsh Vardhan's comments came in the backdrop of Vijay Goel urging the party to name him as the chief ministerial candidate for the Assembly elections. Goel had reportedly threatened to quit the party but had later issued an clarification saying he was not in the race for the chief minister's post.

However, Goel had stressed that it was up to the party to take a call on its chief ministerial candidate for Delhi elections. "BJP has several talented people and what's the harm in it," he had said.

First Published: October 23, 2013, 11:56 AM IST
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