The Chandigarh Bharatiya Janta Party is all set to get its new president on January 17.
The current president Sanjay Tandon’s loyalist Arun Sood, a BJP councilor and former mayor has emerged as the front runner to succeed him.
The longest serving Chandigarh BJP’s president, Tandon has remained on the post since president January 18, 2010. His first term was from January 18, 2010 till January 15, 2013.
Tandon’s term was later extended to 2016 which was his second term as the president. His term was extended for the third time in 2016 in view of Municipal Corporation elections during that year.
Sources said that four party leaders namely Arun Sood, Ramveer Bhatti, Davesh Moudgil and Satinder Singh have been shortlisted for the past after former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan held meetings with core committee members, former party presidents and other senior leaders here in December.
The BJP national leadership is likely to declare the name of new president in a couple of days.
Following this, the party would be focusing on having a consensus on the declared candidate.
The declared candidate will file nomination papers for his unanimous election, sources said.
Councillor Arun Sood remains the frontrunner for the top post as he enjoys support of both Sanjay Tandon and city MP Kirron Kher. On the other hand, ex-MP and senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain had recommended former mayor’s Davesh Moudgil’s name.
Ramveer Bhatti is stated to have backing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh while Satinder Singh’s name is again suggested by MP Kirron Kher.
The new president will be facing a major challenge to keep the party united and end the factionalism.
While Sanjay Tandon’s tenure as BJP city president has remained successful with two consecutive victories in Lok Sabha polls in 2014 and 2019 and victory in civic body polls held in the year 2016, the party state unit remained in the limelight for factionalism.
The party city unit is mainly divided in two camps with each headed by Sanjay Tandon and MP Kirron Kher.
Infact, during Lok Sabha polls held earlier this year, differences between the two camps were visible. As Tandon was also in the race to get party’s ticket, the Central leadership had to delay the announcement of the candidate’s name to prevent a possible rebellion in the party.
Recently, the infighting and rebellion by ruling party councilors had also raised concerns among the party leaders for the January 10 mayoral polls. While the BJP managed to win all three posts including mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor this time with two-third majority, the previous mayoral polls had brought forth the infighting in the party city unit.
Last year, the then BJP councillor, Satish Kainth, had rebelled against the party and fought against the BJP’s official nominee, Rajesh Kalia.
In 2018, the then outgoing mayor Asha Jaswal rebelled against BJP candidate Davesh Moudgil, although she later withdrew her nomination.