BJP on Thursday said the party respects yoga teacher Ramdev and that it was his suggestion that party's senior leader Uma Bharati should be pitted against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Rae Barelli. It was made clear that the party did not moot the idea and that she will contest from Jhansi as was announced earlier.
Meanwhile, Uma Bharati made it clear that she did not want to be shifted out from Jhansi, and the party seems to have accepted her wish.
A BJP spokesperson argued that it is an old tradition that a political party would not play its own big leader against another in the rival camp and take unnecessary risks. Indirectly he has ruled out that the BJP would ever think of fielding a biggie from its own side against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli or vice- president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi.
He was pooh-poohing Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal's intent to take on BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as he had earlier taken on former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and considers it be to naïve politics. He had no doubt that the BJP would not engage in that kind of confrontation. He argued that the BJP would love to field someome prominent enough against either Sonia or Rahul just to get media mileage. He disclosed that member of Rajya Sabha from Gujarat and one of the party vice-presidents Smriti Irani is being considered to contest either from Rae Barelli or Amethi. Asked if the party was keen to needle Sonia Gandhi by fielding someone like Smriti Irani, he quipped "Why not?".
He has, however, clarified that the party would not go out of its way to look for two prominent faces to fight in Rae Bareli or Amethi. He said that then it would become a farce. There will be an element of seriousness only if the ploy used sparingly.
He did not deny that the BJP was doing this to hit back at Congress for fielding Captain Amarinder Singh against senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley