Rajnath says he isn't running for UP CM post

The announcement came in the wake of firebrand leader Uma Bharti’s return to the BJP and after being given charge of the party’s affairs for the 2012 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

Singh at present is Lok Sabha MP from Ghaziabad.“I am not in the race for Chief Minister of UP,” Singh told Deccan Herald on being asked who will be the party’s chief ministerial candidate.

Asked if he was being overlooked with Bharti being given charge of party’s affairs in the state, where he headed the government from 2000 to 2002, Singh said: “The party is doing what it thinks best.”

Singh, who was the BJP president from 2005 to 2009 also refused to give a direct answer on whether the party will see meteoric rise in the state with Bharti’s re-induction, a hope expressed by party president Nitin Gadkari. “I can only say that the party’s prospects will not get harmed in the state with she (Bharti) joining back,” said the 59-year-old leader.
Notably, Bharti, famous for her fiery speeches, was re-inducted into the party on June 7 after six years of expulsion for defying the party leadership. The return of Bharti, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, is being seen as an attempt by the BJP to expand its shrinking support and regain lost ground in Uttar Pradesh, that was once its bastion. In 2009 Lok Sabha polls, BJP finished a miserly fourth.

Other senior BJP leaders also think that Bharti being at the helm of affairs in UP would make no difference to the party’s prospects in assembly polls next year.

“I do not see induction of a new face to make much of a difference to the party in Uttar Pradesh where there is no dearth of leaders,” said Vinay Katiyar, a former state BJP chief and Bajrang Dal founder.

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