LUCKNOW: The Bharatiya Janata Party suspended its election campaign for about a month and eagerly waited for Makar Sankranti on January 15, which marks the beginning of the auspicious days.
However, the way a slew of controversies is haunting the party, its inauspicious days are apparently not over yet. While the storm over embracing former tainted Health Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha is yet to die down, the top leaders of the party clashed against each other on the issue of the chief ministerial candidate of the state, though the party is so far nowhere near the power.
Senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra shocked the party leaders on Tuesday when he said in Delhi that since Uma Bharti was an ‘outsider’ there was no question of her becoming the Chief Minister of the state.
Such a bold statement was not expected from a seasoned Mishra who is known to play the game in a subtle way and avoids being in the forefront.
Mishra has never contested any election in his more than 40-year-old political career and has managed his berth in the Legislative Council and the Rajya Sabha. This time he agreed to contest election from Lucknow east only in the hope that if the party comes to power he will stake claim for the top post in the state for being the senior most leader.
However, before Mishra could take off his election campaign, his hopes stood shattered when Gadkari announced that former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Uma Bharti would contest election from the state.
Bharti’s presence in UP has been disturbing the OBC leaders, including Om Prakash Singh and Vinay Kartyar.
Her candidature has rattled the senior leaders of the state and Mishra had come out in open to oppose the party leadership’s decision. Later, Mishra said by his statement he meant Bharti was a national leader. However, the damage was done and it was known to everybody that Mishra is hurt by her entry in UP.
Two days ago when Pankaj Singh, son of former president of the BJP Rajnath Singh, was elevated to the post of general secretary in UP, three of the secretaries - Daya Shankar Singh, Santosh Singh, and Ashwani Tyagi - resigned in protest.