New Delhi [India], Jan. 21: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday released its list of ‘star campaigners’ for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Polls which sported the names of several party heavyweights like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah and other Union Ministers, but BJP MP from Sultanpur, Varun Gandhi found his name missing from the list. Joining Varun is BJP MP Vinay Katiyar, the face of the Ram temple movement in early 1990s, who was also dropped from the list by the party. Senior mentors of BJP, Murli Manohar Joshi and LK Advani have also not been mentioned in the list of star campaigners. However, Varun’s mother Maneka Gandhi is in the list and so is controversial party MP Yogi Adityanath.
Earlier, reports had emerged that Varun was reportedly upset with his party for being neglected and sidelined ahead of the UP Polls. Contesting his maiden election from Pilibhit in 2009, Varun landed in Etah prison for three weeks for a purported hate speech. UP being the electoral state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who contested and won from Varanasi, a loss of this state will be a blow for the BJP.
Meanwhile, in a clear boost to the BJP, the alliance between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party failed to take place on Saturday over the matter of seat distribution, as the former was demanding more seats than the latter for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. Speaking to ANI, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal said Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was offering 100 seats, but the Congress was not ready for less than 120 seats.
“The Chief Minister offered 100 seats to Congress, but they were not ready for less than 120 seats. We told the Congress that we have 234 sitting MLAs and we need to give them tickets as well, and since there are a few others as well, there is no chance of us fighting on less than 300 seats,” Uttam told ANI. The Samajwadi Party leader further blamed the Congress for breaking the alliance and said this development will give a big boost to the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP).
“We gave it our all to ensure that this alliance is forged, but could not do anything because of Congress’ rigidity,” he added. According to sources, the main bone of contention between the two parties emerged when the Congress wanted more seats in Rae Bareli and Amethi constituencies, the stronghold of the Gandhi family, whereas the Samajwadi Party was unwilling to field their ‘failed’ candidates on the same.