Health keeps Atal out of poll heat | india | Hindustan Times
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Health keeps Atal out of poll heat

The BJP president says the former PM has recovered from illness and is likely to campaign for the remaining phases of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2007 01:52 IST

Former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee is yet to step out to campaign in the UP polls, two phases of which are over and the third is due on April 18.

Vajpayee had to skip the launch of the BJP's campaign in Kanpur along with Kalyan Singh on March 25 due to health reasons. Subsequently, he was advised by doctors not to take the heat and dust.

Senior BJP leaders were at pains to explain that there was no hidden reasons for Vajpayee's absence. Vajpayee has problems traveling by helicopters with frequent hops and then climbing up and down the stage because of a knee surgery he underwent few years ago though he has no problem walking normally.

In order to make up for his absence, the BJP has been releasing his "appeal" to voters through radio, TV and newspapers to back the party to install Kalyan Singh as Chief Minister to usher in change in UP.

Vajpayee's appeal has been splashed at the end of campaigning for each phase.

On Monday, speaking at Badaum, BJP president Rajnath Singh said Vajpayee has recovered from illness and is likely to campaign for the remaining phases of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.

Last week, Vajpayee had scotched speculation that he was not going to UP because he was unhappy with candidates. "I don't have any question about the candidates (selection). I support everybody. I will support everybody and I want them to win." Vajpayee was speaking to BJP MCD Councillors who had gone to his residence to seek his blessings after emerging victorious in the recent civic polls.