Faced with mounting pressure after he projected himself as BJP's Delhi chief ministerial candidate, a sulking Vijay Goel on Monday sought an early decision on the issue but remained non-committal on supporting Harsh Vardhan if the former health minister was named for the post.
Amid indication that Vardhan may be declared for the top post, Goel, addressing a press conference, said he was not a candidate for 'any post' and that a final decision on the issue will be taken by the Parliamentary Board.
“I am not a candidate for any post. The Parliamentary Board will take a decision on the issue taking views of the party workers,” Goel said.
“In the past eight months I have neither named myself nor anyone else. The parliamentary board has to decide on who will be the chief ministerial candidate,” he said.
Replying to a volley of questions on whether he will work with equal vigour if Vardhan was projected for the post, Goel indicated that he would be unhappy in case of such decision. “I will be able to react only after such a decision was taken,” he said.
Though Goel said he was not a candidate for any post, his supporters insisted that the former Union minister was very much in the race as he feels he has contributed significantly to strengthen the party after he was appointed Delhi BJP chief in February.
When asked about internal fissures in the party over the issue and whether the central leadership was delaying taking a decision on the matter, he said, “All decisions related to elections should be taken at the earliest.”
Goel had met top brass of BJP including Rajnath Singh, Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj and expressed his serious opposition to Vardhan's candidature, arguing nearly 10 opinion polls have projected him as the most popular face for BJP's chief ministerial candidate.
A number of senior Delhi BJP leaders said there was 'zero possibility' of Goel being projected for the post and that Vardhan was all set to named as chief ministerial candidate.
In his press conference, Goel favoured an early decision on the issue and rejected reports that he had threatened to resign from the post of Delhi BJP president if Vardhan was named as CM candidate.
The Delhi BJP leaders have already conveyed to the party leadership that they should announce the candidature of Vardhan who is believed to have wider