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BJP hints at fielding Varun in LS polls

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
April 11, 2009 22:31 IST
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Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday indicated that it will field controversial leader Varun Gandhi, currently in detention under the National Security Act, in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Confirming this to, BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said: "There is no bar on his contesting elections notwithstanding directions of the Supreme Court. He can take oath before a police officer in the jail."

Jaitley, who flew down to Jammu to campaign for his party, believes that his party has a good chance of winning the election with a sizeable number of seats.

On Uma Bharti actively taking part in the party's campaign rallies, Jaitley told, "Uma has been addressing some of the major meetings for the party and we hope that this is a first step towards her rehabilitation. We have to proceed step by step. Right now Umaji is addressing series of meetings in favour of the party under her own banner. She has seen that by going out of the party, she cannot revive her political career."

"A threat to the top leadership -- daring them to take action -- did not pay her desired results. Umaji, on her part, has realised that she needs to build her stature before taking on stalwarts like Advani and others.," he added.

When reminded that former chief minister Kalyan Singh had built support for himself, the BJP general secretary said, "Kalyan Singh had managed to win over some BJP leaders and win their support; so much so that he got a ticket for his own son. But when his son lost the elections, the BJP leaders who had crossed over realised there was no point supporting Kalyan Singh. I would be analyzing his vote bank support by next week and will be able to give you a fair assessment of pros and cons of the damage that he could do in the elections. Frankly, we think he will not be able to do much about it."

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi