Shimla, Nov 13: Bharatiya Janata Party Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is unlikely to campaign for the party in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections.
''Had it not been for his falling health, Mr Vajpayee would have visited the two states and campaigned in favour of the party candidates'', he said at a press conference here.
Mr Naqvi said the doctors have advised the former Prime Minister not to travel long distances. ''However, he would campaign for the party following any improvement in his health later.'' Referring to the unsavoury incidents between the Election Commission and the State Congress over the election dates, he said Mr Vajpayee had expressed his concern over it.
''The whole country had witnessed the state Congress Government's intransigence over the poll dates and what was more shocking was the government's no regret over the whole incident.'' Himachal had a special place in the heart of the former Prime Minister who had announced liberal grants during his tenure, he said.
Replying to the party's announcement of the chief ministerial candidate before the polls, he said the state party had several trusted and tested leaders and the next state chief minister would be from the BJP.
The BJP leader said former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, Party President Rajnath Singh, Vice President Shanta Kumar, former Party Presidents Murli Manohar Joshi and M Venkiah Naidu, senior party leader Sushma Swaraj, and former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal would aggressively campaign in favour of the party candidates from December five after the formal launching of the campaign from Mandi on November 18.
The party has prepared its strategy up to the booth level for the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and BJP activists were working round the clock to ensure its effective implementation, he said.
Referring to the Election Commission's decision to allow the State Government to sign agreements on hydel projects, being set up in the state, Mr Navi said the party saw no reason for expediting the process when the polls were on.
He said widespread corruption, phenomenal price rise and failure of the state government on the employment front would be the party's main issues in the assembly elections that are being held in two phases on November 14 and December 19.