UP BJP leaders summoned to Delhi

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Lucknow, March 12: BJP leaders from Uttar Pradesh were on Wednesday summoned to New Delhi to discuss the names of candidates for the state's 80 Lok Sabha seats.

This follows reported bickering over some key seats including Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi.

State BJP president Laxmikant Bajpayi is scheduled to meet party general secretary Amit Shah and national president Rajnath Singh.

Bajpayi is said to have taken the feedback of party workers from these three constituencies on who should be the candidate. The BJP will announce the names of all contestants in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.

While Murli Manohar Joshi, elected from Varanasi, is said to be keen to run again from the temple town, party workers are reportedly keen to pit BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

Many in the Bharatiya Janata Party feel that Modi's candidature will change equations in as many as 32 seats in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh all around Varanasi.

BJP will announce names of all contestants in UP on Thursday.

In Lucknow, Lalji Tandon, the 2009 winner and a close associate of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has expressed reservation about the possible candidature of party president Rajnath Singh.

Rajnath Singh was elected to the Lok Sabha the last time from Ghaziabad but is said to be wanting to change the constituency because of the rising influence of the Aam Aadmi Party there.

The situation in Kanpur is no different with two sections of the district unit seeking ticket for their respective nominees.

To crease over the differences, the BJP is likely to pit senior leader Kalraj Mishra.

The party wants its state leaders to "behave" in wake of the simmering discontent that is likely to come to the fore after the candidates are announced.

The BJP won 10 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2009. It wants to increase the Uttar Pradesh tally sharply so that it can try returning to power nationally.

IANS

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