Expressing resentment over the appointment of BJP's new Jharkhand chief, senior party leader Yashwant Sinha today threatened to quit and made his intentions clear before the party's top brass.
Sources said Sinha during a meeting of top party leaders including LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj this morning vented his anger over the appointment of Ravindra Rai as the party's Jharkhand unit chief, saying "there is a great deal of resentment within the party over Rai's investment".
While Sinha was not available for comments, sources close to him said he has not quit, but is keeping "all options open".
After Sinha's outburst today, BJP President Rajnath Singh sought to placate him and called him up. Singh has sought to discuss the matter with Sinha on his return, as he is currently away to Kolkata.
Rai, who belongs to the camp of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda, was appointed as the state's new party chief yesterday by Rajnath Singh.
Sinha had suggested the name of Raghubar Das, a former state party chief, but the party leadership ignored his recommendation which angered Sinha.
The appointment of Rai, who replaced Dineshanand Goswami, came within a day of former chief minister Arjun Munda resigning from the post of state legislative party leader.
Sources said the party was hopeful of assuaging Sinha and sorting out differences within the party in Jharkhand which may go to polls within the next six months. Jharkhand is currently under President's Rule.
Sources said that Sinha was upset with the party succumbing to pressure from Arjun Munda, who is considered close to Rajnath Singh, in appointing a candidate of his choice.
Sinha, after expressing his unhappiness over Rai's appointment, has sought his replacement with a candidate acceptable to all in the party.
The former Finance Minister reportedly told the top party leadership today that Rai has earlier quit the party and it was not right to hand over the party reins to him as this has led to a "gread deal of resentment in the party cadres" in Jharkhand.
Sinha also told Advani and Sushma that Rai had joined Babulal Marandi and remained with him for a few years till he rejoined the party.
Sources said Sinha also told the top party leadership that Rai did not have the stature to carry the party together in the state which may go to polls soon.
Rai was given a party ticket in the last assembly polls but lost badly while forfeiting even his security deposit, leaders opposed to his appointment said, warning that his annointment as party chief may affect the party's chances at the hustings.
About two years ago, Advani had proposed Sinha's name for the post of Jharkhand chief minister but was overruled by the then president Nitin Gadkari in favour of Munda.