The politics of Uttarakhand will move to square one next week with former chief minister B.C. Khanduri staging a comeback, replacing Ramesh Pokhriyal.
The BJP parliamentary board met on Thursday to decide the next course of action in Uttarakhand where charges of corruption have begun mounting on Pokhriyal camp, in view of the upcoming state assembly elections later this year. The choice of "Mr Clean" Khanduri was expected at a time when party icon L.K. Advani too is back in action.
The retired major-general who rose to prominence on the plank of honesty in the midst of corrupt political leaders mushrooming in the party, was hand-picked by Advani and made minister of state for the prestigious Golden Quadrilateral Highway Project during the BJP-led NDA rule. He soon became the first BJP chief minister of Uttarakhand but had to bow out when party insiders began to question his "army-like" discipline and honesty.
Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri, also related to former Uttar Pradesh chief minister H.N. Bahuguna, was seen as the only hope to keep the party on track in the state. He stepped down in as state chief minister in June 2009.
On Twitter, messages started pouring in favoring the choice of Khanduri as Uttarakhand CM. One identified only as Nana @visaraj wrote: "Happy that BC.Khanduri will return as Uttrakhand CM. Please go an over drive against corruption like VS."