Recently, national party president Nitin Gadkari called a meeting of senior party leaders from the state to discuss the issue at length and to zero in on any agreed candidate. Apart from state deputy chief minister, Sushil Kumar Modi, other leaders who participated in the meeting included the current party president Dr C P Thakur other senior leaders like Nand Kishore Yadav, Janardan Singh Sigriwal, Radha Mohan Singh and Giriraj Singh.
Even state party in charge and general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan visited Patna only few days back to get the first hand feel of party activists in the state
“The two major political issues are haunting party leadership: one is the emergence of political persona of Narendra Modi within BJP and another is the chance of parting away of Nitish,” says a Patna based political analyst .
A section of party workers feel that party should come out from Nitish dilemma and have some vocal leaders like Giriraj Singh, who can take tough stand and give fresh face to the party in case Nitish tries to go apart.
But his candidature is strongly opposed by the soft liners and Nitish loyalists like Sushil Kumar Modi who is backing young party leader Mangal Pandey. But sources within the party say that if there is strong opposition to Pandey they may agree to party MP and former state president Radha Mohan Singh to checkmate Giriraj Singh, a strong vocal supporter of Narendra Modi. This faction feels strongly that current alliance should continue and nothing should be done to disturb it. This faction is having blessings of some senior national leaders as well as Nitish Kumar.
Party MLA Avinish Singh on Sunday openly opposed the name of Mangal Pandey on the plea that he is not even an elected representative, that is an MLA. Pandey is an MLC and considered too inexperienced for the post. Many in the party think that he may end up playing into the hands of Sushil Modi.
Some other names doing the rounds are senior party leaders like Vinod Narayan Jha and Chandra Mohan Rai. A section in the party feels that party may give another term to Dr C P Thakur if rival factions take strong position on their candidates.
The party has not cultivated a new vote bank of its own in the state. With elections round the corner it may opt for the leadership from some upper caste leaders as they have been their staunch supporters in last elections