BJP president J P Nadda on Sunday said the party won’t replace Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and upcoming state Assembly polls will be contested under his leadership. Nadda made the statement when asked about Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia’s claim that Union minister Anurag Thakur will replace Jai Ram Thakur as the state CM.
Jai Ram Thakur is doing work and he will continue with it in future, Nadda told reporters. He will not be replaced and the BJP will contest the Assembly elections under his leadership, he added.
To another question, Nadda said none of the state ministers will be changed. He, however, said 10 to 15 per cent of sitting BJP MLAs may not get ticket in the elections. Ten to 15 per cent BJP MLAs did not get ticket in the UP Assembly elections and it is likely to happen here too, he added. Nadda also exuded confidence that the BJP will emerge as one of the main political parties in Punjab.
He said the BJP used to contest only 23 of 117 Assembly seats in Punjab as a junior alliance partner but in the recently held elections there, it contested on 68 seats as a senior alliance partner. So, the BJP will emerge as a major ideological alternative in Punjab in the next elections, he added. The Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh are scheduled for later this year.
While earlier the elections always remained a bipolar contest between the Congress and the BJP, this time the Aam Aadmi Party is trying to gain a foothold in the state. AAP had stormed to power in Punjab in the just-concluded Assembly polls.