Dehradun: The prolonged search by the BJP for a consensus candidate to head its Uttarakhand unit has come a cropper with two party leaders entering the fray for the post of state party president.

Former state BJP general secretary Tirath Singh Rawat and ex-minister Trivendra Singh Rawat filed their nominations for the post at the party office here, state BJP spokesman Satish Lakhera said on Saturday.

Both BJP leaders filed their nomination papers in the presence of party seniors including central party observer Vijay Goel and former Chief Ministers B C Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank.

While Tirath, who comes from Sangh background has the backing of former Chief Minister B C Khanduri, Trivendra has the support Bhagat Singh Koshiyari.

However, last minute efforts are on to avoid an election as per party traditions and facilitate a smooth changeover with the date for withdrawal of candidature deferred till Sunday, Lakhera said.

Amid prevailing uncertainty over whether there would be an election to the post or not, Koshiyari left for Delhi on Saturday to apprise the party's central leadership with the current situation.

A search was on since the end of incumbent Bishen Singh Chufal's tenure in November last year to find a consensus candidate for the state party chief who could lead the party in 2014 general elections.

However, towards the end of December, Trivendra and Tirath emerged as the front-runners for the post.


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