Rajnath’s son opts out of contest

Updated on Mar 15, 2007 02:56 AM IST
BJP chief Rajnath Singh’s son, Pankaj, was among the 316 names cleared by the party’s central election committee to contest the Uttar Pradesh elections, reports ShekharIyer.
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HT Image
None | ByShekhar Iyer, New Delhi

BJP chief Rajnath Singh’s son, Pankaj, was among the 316 names cleared by the party’s central election committee to contest the Uttar Pradesh elections.

But, as Rajnath Singh’s rivals alleged that the party chief secured the ticket for his son after sewing up the alliance with the Apna Dal, Pankaj announced he would opt out of the contest and work for the party.

Pankaj was given the ticket to contest from candidate from Cherae village in Chandoli district, which is near Varanasi.

The BJP has tied up with the Apna Dal, which has a support base in the state's Kurmi community, in a bid to win OBC votes for the alliance.

Pankaj told Hindustan Times that he would rather work for the party before joining electoral politics. "I welcome the party's decision and am thankful to the party for this honour. But I would like to work for the organisation first before joining electoral politics," he said.

The BJP re-nominated all its sitting MLAs, barring defectors, for the assembly elections in the key state of Uttar Pradesh. The party's chief ministerial candidate, Kalyan Singh, however, will not contest the polls. State BJP leaders Kesrinath Tripathi and Lalji Tandon were among the prominent leaders in the list of candidates declared so far.

BJP officials said the party would give some 50 seats to its allies Apna Dal and the Janata Dal-United as part of an electoral understanding.

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