Modi not to create hurdles for Keshubhais 2nd RS term

Written by Mukesh Ranjan | New Delhi, Mar 4 | Updated: Mar 5 2008, 05:04am hrs
Persisting with his demonstration of magnanimity, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi will not create hurdles for a second Rajya Sabha term to his once arch rival in the party and former chief minister in the state, Keshubhai Patel.

Modi, who had promptly agreed to the BJP leaderships decision to withdraw a showcause notice to Patel and his close aides that had been handed out to them for indulging in anti-party activities during the Gujarat polls last year, is believed to have consented to Patel being given another term in the Upper House. Party circles on Tuesday said the move would help the BJP in sending a positive message of unity to the formidable Patel community in the next Lok Sabha elections.

Its Narendrabhais decision not to be vindictive against Keshubhai, who raised the banner of revolt against him during December elections. Since he has given positive signals, the party is seriously considering on his name, sources in the party said. Party circles also hinted that Modis close confidante Jayantilal Barot will also be re-nominated. Among the four vacancies in the state, the BJP will get three seats leaving one for the Congress. For the third seat, sources said partys Gujarat unit chief Purshottam Rupala is the likely candidate.

Among the states, which will send representatives to the Rajya Sabha in the biennial elections, the scenario in Rajasthan is the most intriguing for the BJP. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje is pushing for former Congress MP Natwar Singhs candidature whereas national party chief Rajnath Singh is batting for senior journalist Prabhu Chawla. The party can send only three members from the state, where former state unit chief Mahesh Chandra Sharma has already been promised party ticket to Rajya Sabha by the central leadership at the time he quit the post. In the mean time, present state unit chief Om Prakash Mathur has also started lobbying with the party high command to further his case.

In the case of Madhya Pradesh, the party, however, appears to have decided on the names, as Kaptan Singh Solanki, Raghunandan Sharma, who recently returned to the party fold from Uma Bharatis BJS, and former Panchyajanyas editor Tarun Vijay are certain to get BJPs Parliamentary Boards approval.

Similarly in case of Chhatisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra from where the party has only one seat each to be filled, respective names Prabhat Jha, for whom RSS strongman Suresh Soni is lobbying hard, Shanta Kumar, Nitin Gadkari are also certain to be nominated.