Atal may add more fire to politics of letters

Written by Mukesh Ranjan | New Delhi, Jul 12 | Updated: Jul 13 2007, 06:00am hrs
Breaking his silence for the first time since the NDA decided to back Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat as an independent candidate for the post of President, former Prime Minister and NDA chairman Atal Bihari Vajpayee is likely to issue an appeal and write letters to voters in the electoral collage on Friday, urging them to vote for Shekhawat.

According to sources in the NDA, both the appeal and the letters will be circulated simultaneously and will contain the signature of Vajpayee and former defence minister and NDA convener George Fernandes.

The letter of politics in the presidential campaign began when leader of the Opposition LK Advani recently wrote open letters to voters, urging them to go for conscience voting. This triggered a debate among various political camps. The ruling Congress also followed suit and issued two open letters baking their candidate Pratibha Patil.

In the political circles, Vajpayees joint exercise with Fernandes is seen as an attempt to reach out to MPs and MLAs beyond NDA. Moreover, Fernandes has good rapport with non-Congress and non-BJP politicians. Shekhawat camp leaders felt that only Vajpayees appeal would not have done the trick among legislators who are not in the NDA fold.

The content of the appeal and letters will entirely focus on the good qualities of Shekhawatji, sources said. This means that Vajpayee-Fernandes duo will explain to the voters why should they vote for Shekhawat without referring to any controversy surrounding UPA-Left candidate.