Ending uncertainty, the BJP on Wednesday named Harsh Vardhan as the party's Chief Ministerial candidate for the December 4 Delhi Assembly elections despite opposition by city unit chief Vijay Goel who had staked claim for the post.
The announcement was made after the BJP parliamentary board meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Singh said that the decision to name Harsh Vardhan was unanimous. He also said that Vijay Goel backed the party's decision and there is no rift within the party.
Singh was flanked by several senior leaders including veteran L K Advani, senior leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar and Delhi Election in-charge Nitin Gadkari.
Goel and Vardhan were also both present at the press conference.
All members of the Parliamentary Board were in the meeting except Narendra Modi who has given his consent to the decision, party sources said.
The party expects that by presenting Vardhan, a former Health Minister who has a clean image, as the Chief Ministerial candidate it will be able to put up a tough fight to dethrone the Congress dispensation which has been in power for the last 15 years.
According to party sources, Harsh Vardhan had the backing of BJP heavyweights including LK Advani, Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar.
Meanwhile, Vijay Goel, who was appointed as the president of its Delhi unit in February 2013, has been sidelined for now. Though Goel is supporting Harsh Vardhan's candidature, there are indications of an internal rift within the party.
At the press meet to announce the decision, party patriarch Advani said that Vijay Goel had happily accepted the board's decision on Harsh Vardhan.
Goel had on Sunday staked his claim for the position before the party's top leadership and expressed his opposition against any move to declare Harsh Vardhan's name for it.
He even met Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and former party chief Nitin Gadkari to push himself for the party's chief ministerial candidate in Delhi.
However, his move did not go down well with a number of senior Delhi leaders, who have conveyed their displeasure to Delhi election in-charge Nitin Gadkari over the fact that Goel had violated party discipline by openly projecting himself as chief ministerial candidate.
The rift may pose a serious problem in BJP's attempts to dethrone Sheila Dikshit and return to power after a gap of over a decade.
Assembly elections will be held in the national capital on December 4 with over 11.5 million voters eligible to cast their ballots in 70 constituencies.
Last month, three surveys conducted by a private agency, Sisro Associates, with technical assistance from Yogendra Yadav has projected that AAP will garner 32% vote share. The Congress and the BJP will end up with 24 and 23% votes respectively. And if this happens, then the growing unrest within BJP's Delhi wing will scuttle its chances to seize power from Congress.