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LS poll: Maneka's son to contest from Pilibhit
Rediff News Bureau |
June 25, 2008 23:26 IST
Former Union minister Maneka Gandhi's concerted efforts to put her son Varun in Parliament may materialise in the next Lok Sabha elections, with the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party recommending him for the Pilibhit seat.
Varun will have the advantage of the constituency nursed by her mother all these years and his own involvement in the campaigning for her from this constituency in the last elections.
The mother intends to shift to Aonla constituency in Uttar Pradesh that now has Janata Dal(U)'s Kunwar Sarvraj Singh as the MP.
It is learnt that Maneka had also tried to push Varun for the Vidisha seat in Madhya Pradesh that was vacated by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chavan, but without success. She had been trying to have him in the Lok Sabha since 2004.
The BJP is marching ahead of other parties in selection of candidates from June 26 when its Central Election Committee would hold the first meeting to finalise candidates from the lists already received from the state units.
Though no names will be announced on Thursday, the party sources said the first list of around 160 "winnable" candidates would be out before the end of July. Of course, those selected would be informed in advance to start nursing the constituencies, the sources said.
The Uttar Pradesh BJP has recommended names for about 30 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. These include BJP president Rajnath Singh from Gaziabad, Murli Manohar Joshi from Varanasi, former chief minister Kalyan Singh from Etah and BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi from Rampur.
General secretary Vinay Katiyar, who is now a Rajya Sabha member, has also expressed his desire to seek election again from Faizabad. BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley and former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj have also been told to pick up the seats of their choice in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Sushma may be a candidate from one of the constituencies in Delhi while Jaitley may either opt for a seat from Himachal Pradesh, though the seats of Jammu and Amritsar [Images] are also under consideration.
As a strategy, the party wants to field as many Rajya Sabha members as possible in the Lok Sabha elections. The only exception so far decided is of former President M Venkaiah Naidu, who will not be contesting since he has to handle the most crucial job as the chairman of the central election management committee.
Naidu claims that the BJP has already seized the initiative by declaring Lal Krishna Advani as its prime ministerial candidate and it would be also first in announcing candidates and the party manifesto.