The Cong may not field a candidate against Samajwadi Party's Lucknow nominee Sanjay Dutt, though it believes that his sister Priya is the political heir to Sunil Dutt who it held in high esteem.
"She is the logical political heir to Sunil Dutt,'' said party general secretary Digvijay Singh. Though he refused to say whether the party would field a candidate against Sanjay, Lucknow was a seat where the Congress and the SP had decided to have a joint candidate.
Former PM and BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee represents the constituency in the Lok Sabha. Though he is unlikely to contest this time in view of his age and health, the BJP is yet to decide on its nominee against Sanjay.
Party sources also said before associating himself with the SP, former BJP leader Kalyan Singh had sent feelers to the Congress. "But we did not want him for obvious reasons,'' said a Congress leader, who did not want to be named. He was referring to the former Uttar Pradesh (UP) chief minister's role in the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
Congress leaders maintain that Kalyan's association with the SP had nothing to do with their party. But, there were concerns that it could have an impact on the minority votes not just in UP (where it may rally behind the Bahujan Samaj Party), but also outside the state during the Lok Sabha elections. "It is a sensitive issue with the minorities,'' said one leader.
Others, however, recalled that when Kalyan had left the BJP the first time, his outfit, the Rashtriya Kranti Dal, was part of the Mulayam government which was backed by the Congress from outside.