Kalraj makes U-turn on Uma remarks

BJP vice-president Kalraj Mishra is one of the front-runners for the chief ministership of UP if some miraculous results give his party the mandate.

Lucknow: BJP vice-president Kalraj Mishra on Tuesday said the party’s Parliamentary Board, which is the highest decision making body, will decide the chief ministerial candidate if it wins the UP Assembly elections.
Mishra, who is one of the front-runners for the chief ministership of Uttar Pradesh if some "miraculous results" give his party the mandate, said the decision on who will be CM in such a scenario will be taken by the Parliamentary Board.
He, however, maintains that the party must first strive
to get the required numbers.

BJP president Nitin Gadkari had stated earlier that the party was fighting the electoral battle in Uttar Pradesh under the leadership of state unit president Surya Pratap Shahi, former party president Rajnath Singh, Kalraj Mishra and
firebrand Hindutva leader Uma Bharti.

Mishra recounted that Gadkari has also pointed out that
Shahi is the state unit president (and hence can?t hold two
posts) while Rajnath Singh has already said he is not in state
politics now.

Bharti, who is from the Lodh community and rose to
prominence during the Ram Janambhoomi movement, is a former
chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

Ever since Gadkari announced that she will contest the UP
elections from Charkhari constituency of Mahoba district,
speculation has been rife about her being a prospective chief
ministerial candidate. Her case is also strengthened by the
fact that she is an OBC leader and BJP is aggressively wooing
this community.

Mishra is all-praise for Bharti and feels she has
strengthened the BJP campaign in UP.

However, the former minister of the erstwhile BSP-BJP
government feels Bharti is a national leader of the party and
should not be seen only in the context of UP politics.

"Moreover, she should also not be seen just as an OBC
leader. She has been a union minister in the NDA government.
She is a Sadhvi who cannot be confined to a particular state.
She is also a former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh," Mishra

Though Mishra states that he is one of the four leaders
under whom the party has decided to contest the polls in Uttar
Pradesh, he hastens to add, "I am not saying I am the chief
ministerial candidate".

He also evaded a reply when asked if the BJP would choose
a Brahmin- the community to which he belongs- as the chief
minister, saying the final decision will be taken by the
Parliamentary Board.