President poll - Rajnath talks to ex-PMs

Updated on May 30, 2007 05:12 PM IST
Rajnath’s meetings were with the leaders who are seen as the cream of the Rajput political leadership, reports Shekhar Iyer.
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Hindustan Times | ByShekhar Iyer, New Delhi

BJP chief Rajnath Singh met former Prime Ministers VP Singh and Chandrashekhar and called on Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh at a hospital where he is undergoing treatment.

His meetings were interpreted by BJP officials as exploratory exercise in the light of the NDA's decision to explore the chances of its nominee winning the Presidential poll.

Interestingly, Rajnath’s meetings on Wednesday were with the leaders who are seen as the cream of the Rajput political leadership.

Though the NDA has not announced its candidate, the BJP chief’s efforts were stated to be see the scope of Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat’s candidature.

Shekhawat is a Rajput leader who commands a lot of loyalty and respect from within his community in the northern states.

The NDA had on Tuesday authorised former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee to name the Opposition alliance’s candidate after consulting other leaders.

Though Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee suggested consensus on Vajpayee’s name, BJP leaders said he would not like to enter the fray where a contest is inevitable.

"Vajpayee’s candidature could have been a possibility where the NDA had majority in the electoral college. This time, it is advantage for the UPA and the Left if they can get the support of the BSP," said a senior BJP functionary.

Mayawati who led her party to an amazing victory in UP has not disclosed her cards. A BJP leader did not rule out Shekhawat’s managers reaching out to her.

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