In an apparent bid to drive a wedge in the BJP, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh met former vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat whose intention to contest the Lok Sabha polls was seen as a direct challenge to L.K. Advani’s projection as prime ministerial candidate.
There was no word on what transpired in the 30-minute one-on-one meeting between the two leaders on Friday.
But the interaction took place in the backdrop of the NCP’s moves to persuade the Congress and other UPA allies to promote Shekhawat’s candidature and add to the confusion in the BJP.
While Sharad Pawar is known to be close to Shekhawat, NCP’s Praful Patel and spokesman D.P. Tripathy — who had officially welcomed Shekhawat’s candidature — were reportedly in touch with Congress president’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and Singh on the issue.
The Congress is believed to have agreed with the politics behind the move but was hesitant because of Shekhawat’s association with the BJP. The UPA had earlier rejected his claims for the presidential office.
The Shekhawat-Digvijay meeting came a day after the BJP leader had said he would not contest against Advani for the PM’s post.