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Vajpayee to campaign in Lucknow

india Updated: Apr 22, 2007 00:12 IST
HS Bartwal
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Putting an end to speculation about his absence from the BJP's poll campaign in UP thus far, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has finally decided to address a public meeting in Lucknow, his parliamentary constituency, on April 25.

The BJP patriarch's absence from the campaign till the first three phases of Assembly elections had led to speculation about his declining appeal as a star campaigner, but this was denied by party leaders who claimed that he was unable to address rallies because of ill-health.

Earlier, plans for his addressing a joint rally in Kanpur with BJP chief ministerial candidate Kalyan Singh and Apna Dal's Sone Lal Patel to mark the launching of the party campaign were abruptly cancelled last month.

According to sources, Vajpayee will attend a meeting of NDA leaders in the morning a day before Parliament resumes its session on April 26, and will later leave for Lucknow where he is scheduled to address a rally in the evening. He will visit the state capital again on April 28 to cast his vote in the election.

Meanwhile, the BJP on Saturday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to disclose the details of Indo-Pak talks over Kashmir following Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri's comment that both countries were moving towards a settlement on the issue.

"If Islamabad says the Kashmir issue is nearing settlement, then the Prime Minister must tell the country and Parliament where we have reached in these talks," BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra stated.