The BJP sought to downplay the rebellion by its vice-president Kalyan Singh on Monday,with general secretary Ananth Kumar calling him a senior leader of the party. All decisions in Uttar Pradesh have been taken in consultation with him (Kalyan), he told reporters on Monday,after a meeting of the Central Election Committee,which Kalyan,incidentally,skipped.
Many BJP leaders in private,however,said it would only be a blessing in disguise if Kalyan Singh were to leave the party. Good riddance said a senior leader from the state,even as he conceded that the Lodh votes were still with Kalyan.
Angry colleagues talked about the fact that even as Kalyan was trying to impress upon the central leadership to remove Ashok Pradhan from Bulandshahr,he was bargaining with the Samajwadi Party for more seats,after initially being offered Etah,Bulandshahr and Aligarh by them. No one, however,willing to come on record on this.
After a meeting of its poll panel,the BJP has,meanwhile,declared a list of 18 candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. The list includes the name of former Union external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha from Hazaribagh in Jharkhand. The party named three other nominees from Jharkhand,six from Kerala,three from Himachal Pradesh,two from Tripura and one each from Manipur,Chandigarh and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Ananth said the names for Uttar Pradesh will be decided on January 28 and 29.