Dehra Dun, Jan 15: Congress today said it would not project any chief ministerial candidate in Uttarakhand, a day after BJP projected B C Khanduri for the post ahead of the January 30 Assembly polls.
Buoyed by the declaration of the chief ministerial candidate, BJP spokesman Satish Lakhera today challenged Congress to declare its chief ministerial candidate saying the opposition party is only banking on its top leadership like Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
“On the front page of the Congress manifesto, there is no space for state leaders,” Lakhera said.
As the pressure mounted on Congress about the issue, a senior party leader said it is the decision of the high command.
However, Congress spokesman Surendra Kumar said there is no tradition in Congress to declare chief ministerial candidates.
“The leader is only declared after taking the opinion from the elected MLAs,” Kumar said. Kumar also challenged BJP to declare its prime ministerial candidate as well as chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh.
“If BJP has the guts, it should also declare chief ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh and prime ministerial candidate at the centre,” Kumar said.
As of now, senior Congress leaders Harish Rawat, Vijay Bahuguna and Satpal Majaraj are some of the names doing the rounds as chief ministerial candidates here.
Upping the ante, senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh yesterday said chief minister B C Khanduri would continue to remain in the post in case BJP forms the next government in Uttarakhand.
“Khanduri is the chief minister and will remain chief minister if we form our own government,” said Singh, who is also in charge of election affairs in the hill state.
BJP is locked in a close contest with Congress.