Dehradun: As the stage is set for Assembly elections in Uttarakhand, the ruling dispensation Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state suffered a serious jolt with the resignation of Panchayti Raj member and Renewable Energy and Jail Minister Rajendra Singh Bhandari.  It is likely that the Minister would join the Congress.

Rajendra Bhandri was elected as an Independent MLA from Nandprayag assembly seat in Chamoli district in 2007 elections. Unable to gain majority in the elections, the BJP decided to garner support from victorious Independent candidates. Therefore, it included Yashpal Benaam from Pauri, Gagan Rajvar from Dharchula and Bhandari.

In lieu of this, Bhandari was appointed as associate member and included in the Cabinet.

Interestingly, the resignation move has put a halt to the brewing dissent among the party members.

Earlier, considering the chances of Bhandari getting ticket from Badrinath constituency, the Chamoli BJP Association has given collective resignation. Sitting MLA Kedar Singh Phonia had also opposed the privilege given to Bhandari by the party.

With the Assembly election inching closer, the issue was one of the major reasons of tussle among the BJP members. Though Bhandari’s decision to move out from the party fold has put an end to the resentment brewing within the party, however his absence will also pose troubles for the ruling BJP.

JPN/Bureau