The internal tussle among top BJP leaders over their choice of Lok Sabha constituencies in Uttar Pradesh appears set to delay the candidate announcement for the politically crucial state even as BJP central election committee is slated to meet on Saturday to release its second list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.
“Till party president Rajnath Singh, prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi take a final call about their constituencies, it is unexpected that the party will announce its candidates from the state,” conceded a top state unit leader referring to the tussle over the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.
State unit leaders conceded that while Modi’s confidante and party general secretary in-charge of the state Amit Shah is seeking the Varanasi seat for the party’s prime ministerial candidate, former party chief Joshi was reluctant to concede ground. Several top state unit leaders, who huddled over candidate selection meeting with Shah, revealed that party general secretary did not indicate them about Modi’s plan to contest from Uttar Pradesh. “Joshi is a party elder and his prestige will not be lowered,” said another leader indicating that any decision about Varanasi candidature will not be taken without his consent.
However, the party’s state unit was learnt to be keen to get few seats from the state announced on Saturday given the fact that part of western UP will go to polls on April 10 that leaves very little time for candidates to campaign on the ground.
The CEC is also likely to announce candidates from Karnataka, where former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa is likely to be fielded from Shimoga. The meeting is also likely to finalise candidates from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Orissa.