Pradhan in firing line after Bihar poll defeat

Vol 19, PW 6 (19 Nov 15) People & Policy

As punishment for the BJP’s defeat in the Bihar state elections there's speculation that Dharmendra Pradhan will soon be replaced, some say by power minister Piyush Goyal.

PETROWATCH learns Pradhan and fellow party leaders Giriraj Singh and Ram Kripal Yadav were roundly criticised by a BJP parliamentary committee called on November 9 to dissect the disastrous Bihar poll results. Why, asked the committee, didn’t Pradhan give a clear picture to the central leadership on the party’s chances against the 'Grand Alliance' or ‘Mahagathbandan’ of Janata Dal United, Rashtriya Janata Dal, and Congress which won 178 seats against the BJP tally of 53? “We miscalculated that the Grand Alliance couldn’t consolidate votes,” admits a BJP source.

“Our leaders in Bihar unnecessarily made Narendra Modi attend 30 rallies without a hope of winning. This exposed him to humiliation.

” As a result Pradhan, who was in charge of the Bihar elections and is also state party chief, might now lose his oil ministry position and be asked to concentrate on upcoming elections in Assam and Uttar Pradesh. “This won’t happen immediately," says a source.

"The party doesn’t want to make it obvious that he's being punished for the Bihar election result." Any reshuffle, he adds, will most likely happen in the new year, or after the winter session of parliament from November 26 to December 23.