Former Uttar Pradesh CM Kalyan Singh’s tantrums and the absence of consensus over names in state units have delayed the declaration of the BJP’s list of nominees for the Lok Sabha polls.
The party, which hoped to complete ticket distribution for 200 seats by month-end, could finalise only 18 names on Monday. Two former Union ministers — Yashwant Sinha (Hazaribagh) and Karia Munda (Khunti) — figured among them. The others included three from Himachal Pradesh and eight from Kerala and two from Tripura, states where the BJP doesn’t have much hope.
Ananth Kumar, party general secretary, said the remaining meetings of the BJP’s central election committee would be held on January 28 and 29, and not Tuesday and Wednesday as scheduled.
Kumar said central BJP observers would be sent to help the state units’ election panels speed up their recommendations.
He refused to comment on Kalyan’s reported meeting with Mulayam, saying “he is our senior leader and one of the main campaigners”. “Whatever decisions on UP are taken, it would be with his consent. The names declared also...had his (Kalyan’s) consent.”
Kalyan’s reported feelers to Mulayam upset BJP’s calculations with senior leaders staying huddled at L.K. Advani’s residence to sort out the issue.
MP Ashok Pradhan, at loggerheads with Kalyan over his candidature from Bulandshahr, brought his supporters to the party headquarters. They demanded action against those acting against the party’s interests. Pradhan countered Kalyan’s charge that he had worked against his son Rajveer in the UP polls, saying, in fact, it was he who had worked against him in the Khurja Lok Sabha constituency.