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BJP asks Rajnath, Kalraj to woo dissidents

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | January 07, 2003 01:30 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party has detailed Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Misra to bring back the remaining dissidents into the party fold.

This follows the return of five rebel legislators, who swore to stand by the party in the presence of BJP state legislature party leader Lalji Tandon.

Tandon, who was the state housing and urban development minister, is understood to have impressed upon the party leadership that he has done his bit to quell the dissidence in the party. It is now time for other senior leaders like Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Misra to ensure the return of the remaining five MLAs.

Those close to Tandon allege that Singh has been largely responsible for the dissidence. "Since Singh had played a major role in mobilising the Thakur MLAs to revolt against Chief Minister Mayawati, whom he could not stand from day one, it should not be difficult for him to persuade them to end their drama," remarked a confidant of Tandon.

"The whole dissidence game has left Singh thoroughly exposed and discredited... all the more reason for him to prove his sincerity and commitment to the party by telling the remaining dissidents to come back," he added.

The BJP leadership has sent feelers to the dissidents that the proceedings against them under the provisions of the anti-defection law would be dropped if they give up their stand. The proceedings were initiated on a petition moved by Tandon before assembly Speaker Kesrinath Tripathi.

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