WITH THE Election Commission likely to announce the date for the Vidisha Lok Sabha by-election, the BJP is toying with the idea of fielding high-profile candidates to bolster its presence in the Lower House.
Among the names doing the rounds are Sushma Swaraj, deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha, and Feroze Varun Gandhi, son of Maneka Gandhi, for the Vidisha seat.
Swaraj could boost the BJP’s voice in the Lower House where L.K. Advani as the leader of the Opposition and V.K. Malhotra as deputy leader lead the party’s attack against the government.
For Varun, arguments in his favour include that he is young and his presence and performance in the Lok Sabha could be made to be seen in contrast to Rahul Gandhi.
Varun is definitely keen to contest in Vidisha though his stated position is that he will go by the party’s decision. Since the last Lok Sabha elections in 2004, Varun has been on the BJP’s campaign trail. He is again likely to be asked to campaign in UP, Uttaranchal and Punjab where the polls are due in early 2007.
Those close to Varun say that former PM A B Vajpayee, Advani and BJP chief Rajnath Singh have indicated to him that they are inclined to field him for Vidisha. On the other hand, Swaraj had ruled out jumping into the fray. But, BJP leaders say now, she would not mind contesting for the seat if she was asked to do so.