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Days of chintan over, Gadkari for strategic moves

Anything can happen in cricket and politics, says BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2012 01:46 IST
Sunita Aron
Sunita Aron
Hindustan Times

Anything can happen in cricket and politics, says BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

Moving away from the days when prolonged chintan baithaks were held for 10-12 hours, Gadkari is talking about planning and strategic moves. Giving him inputs are a battery of management graduates who even guide BJP leaders on what to speak

and how to speak, besides doing their own political assessments.

On his experience in Uttar Pradesh, he says, "The BJP president is like Draupadi, with people pouncing on him for every little thing. Can you imagine people confronting Sonia Gandhi on why the ticket was denied to them?"

However, all decisions have their own fallout, he adds.

"I have grown in the RSS, but I am a street-fighter. We have made some strategic moves and are waiting for the results," he said in a chat with Hindustan Times on Friday morning in Lucknow.

"I take decisions as every leader should."

The message is clear. He has no regrets about inducting BSP discard Babu Singh Kushwaha and projecting Uma Bharati, an outsider, as the party's main face in the elections while there is no paucity of frontline leaders in the state.

And he wants the media to wait for the National Rural Health Mission probe to be over before coming to a conclusion about Kushwaha.

"Look at the crowds thronging these meetings. There were 30,000 people at Kushwaha's meeting yesterday."

Uma Bharati’s presence adds to the communal pitch.

"There is huge resentment among the OBCs over the quota (4.5%) for the Muslims (from within the 27% for the OBCs). This will translate into votes in our favour," Gadkari said.

Asked if Uttar Pradesh is the toughest challenge for him (he has led in 10 state polls so far), he says, "The revival of the party here is the biggest challenge."

On the Congress, he says, "I often say in a lighter vein that Munni se jyada badnam Congress huyi (the Congress has earned more bad reputation than Munni – a take off on a film song)."

First Published: Feb 19, 2012 23:24 IST