BJP to focus on UP and Bihar for shoring up its L S chances

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New Delhi, Jun 18 (UNI) With the Lok Sabha polls on the horizon, the strategists of the BJP are goading the party leadership to focus their attention on Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states which together account for 120 seats in the 543-member House.

Informed party sources said that BJP's string of electoral successes in the state assembly polls starting from Gujarat to Karnataka will be meaningful only if the party is able to make deeper inroads in UP and Bihar.

The party has already projected Leader of the Opposition L K Advani as its Prime Ministerial nominee and the recently concluded BJP National Executive mandated the party to finalise the nominees this month to give them clear advantage in projecting their candidature in the all important poll. Some of the sitting MPs might have to change their constituences in view of the implementation of Delimitation Commission report which has changed the geographical borders having implication on caste and other electoral arithmatics.

The party hoped to bank upon the inability of the ruling UPA government in checking the spiralling prices and inflation would only boost the anti-incumbency factor against the ruling party, besides growing instances of terrorist violence across the country.

The party is in the process of finding a suitable nominee for Lucknow seat likely to vacated by NDA Chairman and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the responsibility is likely to fall upon Rajya Sabha MP and former UP minister Kalraj Mishra.

Another senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon and Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma too are in the reckoning.

Many of the BJP stalwarts now in Rajya Sabha may be asked to contest the Lok Sabha polls right from the party President Rajnath Singh who is likely to seek his electoral fortunes from Ghaziabad.

Former BJP president Murli Manohar Joshi may shift to Brahmin dominated Varanasi seat. Former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, an MP from Atrauli is likely to shift to some safe seat in view of the changed demographic changes caused by the implementation of Delimitation Commission report. BSP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is conesting from his Rampur LS seat Former minister Maneka Gandhi is likely to contest from Avla Lok Sabha near Bereli while her son Varun Gandhi is likely to be accommodated in her Pilibhit seat.

In Bihar, the party hopes to increase the NDA tally along with its partner Janata Dal (United) and the fact that the party chose to retain Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi itself against the wishes of dissident MLAs has given enough indications that the party will do nothing to upset the NDA's apple cart. Both the NDA parties want to increase their numbers in the Lok Sabha at the cost of Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Prasad.

Several Rajya Sabha MPs who are likely to figure in the BJP's Lok Sabha include Mr Jaswant Singh who may be asked to asked contest either from Kota or Jaipur Lok Sabha constituency. Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha is likely to contest from his Hazaribagh constituency in Jharkhand while cine star Shatrughan Sinha may try his fortunes in Patna or from East Delhi LS seat.

BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley is tipped to contest from Palanpur in Himachal Pradesh while Mrs Swaraj may opt to contest from one of the LS constituencies in Delhi or even may try her luck in Karnataka. Last time she unsuccessfully contested from Bellary but that seat, had now become a reserved constituency for the ST.


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