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,and saying: All decisions in UP have been taken in consultation with him. He was talking to reporters after a meeting of the Central Election Committee here,which incidentally Kalyan skipped.
Many BJP leaders in private,however,said it would only be a blessing in disguise were Kalyan Singh to leave the party. Good riddance, said a senior leader from the state,even while conceding that Lodh votes were still with Kalyan.
Angry party colleagues talk 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.
Meanwhile,after a meeting of its poll panel,the BJP declared a list of 18 candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls,including 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 that the names for UP would be decided on January 28 and 29.