Smooth sailing

The BJP core committee's clean chit to Nitin Gadkari has particularly relieved three persons: state BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai, Uma Bharti and former chief minister Kalyan Singh. Bajpai was Gadkari's personal choice to take over the reins of the state BJP after Surya Pratap Shahi's resignation after the party's poor show in the Assembly election. Uma Bharti was pulled out of the political wilderness by Gadkari, admitted into the BJP and given a role in UP despite the hostility of certain sections. Bringing back Kalyan Singh, who had left the BJP twice in the past, was also Gadkari's idea. Now that the clouds over Gadkari have lifted, Bajpai can be sure of his formal election as state president, Uma Bharti can plan her moves to move to the BJP's centre-stage, and Kalyan Singh's path for return home will be smoothened.

Guessing game

The Lok Sabha election is more than a year away, but interesting things are happening in Sultanpur. Like Amethi and Rae Bareli, the Congress has not given the charge of Sultanpur to any of the eight newly appointed zonal presidents. This has led to speculation whether a member of the Gandhi-Nehru family will contest from Sultanpur this time. It is no secret that sitting party MP Sanjay Singh is unhappy since his wife Amita lost the Assembly election from Amethi, allegedly due to sabotage by Congressmen. Interestingly, the BSP has named former MLA Pawan Pandey as its candidate. Pandey has good personal relations with Sanjay Singh and had campaigned for him in the 2009 election. To make it more interesting, Varun Gandhi is keen to shift from Pilibhit to Sultanpur, say BJP sources.

Sidhu's side-show

BJP may need Navjot Singh Sidhu for campaigning in Gujarat, but a band of partymen in UP are disappointed that he had to quit the house of Bigg Boss. BJP men had been watching the reality show regularly only because of Sidhu. They were sure Sidhu would have won the show, and point out that he was not nominated even once for elimination. Almost daily, they would discuss the events in the house and how Sidhu was faring. Interestingly, a majority of them had never met Sidhu in person; they liked him for his oratory, particularly his one-liner Sidhuisms.

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