BJP Vice-President Kalraj Mishra, who is one of the front-runners for the chief ministership of Uttar Pradesh if some miraculous results give his party the mandate, has ruled out Uma Bharti occupying the post in the state.
Though Mishra is all-praise for Bharti, he does not agree that she is a prospective chief ministerial candidate of BJP if the party comes to power.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari has hinted at prospective candidates when he said elections in the state were being fought under the leadership of Kalraj Mishra, Uma Bharti, former party president Rajnath Singh and state unit president Surya Pratap Shahi.
In an interview to PTI, Mishra, who is contesting on a BJP ticket from Lucknow (East), discussed his party’s electoral prospects, the contentious Ayodhya Ram Temple issue, his recent yatra in Uttar Pradesh, politics of Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi as well as the issues being raised by SP and ruling BSP.
"But our party President has also said that Shahi is the state unit president (and hence can’t hold two posts), Rajnath Singh has already said he is not in state politics now and Bharti is from outside....not from Uttar Pradesh", he said.
However, he hastened to add that this did not mean that "I am saying I am the chief ministerial candidate".
Ever since Gadkari had declared last week that Bharti will contest from Charkhari constituency of Mahoba district, speculation has been rife that she may be projected as the chief ministerial candidate.