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BJP finalises names of RS nominees
August 24, 2003 20:13 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday finalised the names of eight personalities from different fields for nomination to the Rajya Sabha following the retirement of as many members.
The names were cleared at a meeting of the party top brass, including Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee his deputy Lal Kishenchand Advani, Finance Minister Jaswant Singh and BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu, in New Delhi.
The doyen of Telugu cinema Akkineni Nageshwara Rao, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Director-General R A Mashelkar, Pioneer Editor Chandan Mitra, Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika and Reserve Bank of India Governor Bimal Jalan are among those whose candidature figured prominently at the meeting, party sources said.
The names of cine actress Hema Malini, industrialist Nusli Wadia, Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K Kasturirangan, Muslim leader Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and columnist Muzzafar Hussain were also discussed, the sources said, adding none of the retiring members were likely to be nominated again.
Speculation was also rife about the possible nomination of veteran columnist T V R Shenoy, Panchajanya Editor Tarun Vijay and a representative of scheduled castes or scheduled tribes.
Meanwhile, Telugu film star and BJP Mahila Morcha vice-president Vijayashanti said she had rejected the party's offer for nomination.
"It would send contradictory signals if I accept the offer at a time when I am fighting for the cause of Telengana," she said in Hyderabad.
Asked how she would pursue the Telengana cause, she said, "I will try my best to convince the party leadership on the issue."
Reiterating that she was committed to separate statehood for Telengana, Vijayashanti said, "To avoid confusion... I asked BJP leadership to delete my name from the list of nominations."