BJP leadership in UP demands Vajpayee's candidature in Lok Sabha

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Lucknow, Mar 28(UNI) Stung by the new Brahmin face of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP is pressing hard to pitch former prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee as the party's candidate in the Lok Sabha polls which are less than a year away.

Recognising Mr Vajapyee as the only prominent Brahmin face of the party, the state leadership is of the view that the veteran leader should contest LS polls from his old Lucknow parliamentary seat to counter the recent surge of BSP riding on the support of Brahmin in the last assembly polls.

The BJP leaders have already started demanding that the former Prime Minister should contest the next general elections, consecutive sixth time in a row, as it will counter the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party who are wooing the Brahmins during the elections, a top BJP leader told UNI here.

As Uttar Pradesh with 80 seats is bound to be the main battle ground for all the the parties during the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP would certainly have an edge if Mr Vajpayee contests from Lucknow. His candidature is being seen as a great moral booster for the party after its debacle in the 2007 assembly polls in which BSP, grabbing the Brahmin vote bank, came to power with absolute majority.

The party leaders have made several statements regarding the poll prospect of Mr Vajpayee, who till recently did not come before the public due to his health problems. However, the veteran leader made an appearance during the Holi celebrations at his New Delhi residence, which created much enthuasiasm among his supporters.

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