Malhotra set to return to national politics

December 9th, 2008 - 5:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Dec 9 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader V.K. Malhotra, whose selection as the chief ministerial candidate in Delhi came under severe criticism after the party’s defeat in the assembly polls, is set to return to national politics.”He will discuss his future plans with other party leaders. He will convey his wishes to them and the decision would be taken in next two-three days,” said a member of Malhotra’s family.

However, a party source said: “Malhotra will definitely return to the national scene. There is no question of him staying in Delhi.”

Although Delhi went to the polls only days after terrorists struck in Mumbai, the Congress bagged close to 40 seats in the 70-member assembly. While the Congress garnered 44.5 percent of all valid votes, the BJP got 38.2 percent.

The BJP’s defeat in the polls put into focus the lack of consensus among party leaders over projecting Malhotra, a five-time parliamentarian and deputy leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, as the chief ministerial candidate.

“Personally, I think Arun Jaitley would have been a better choice as the party’s chief ministerial candidate. The result in Delhi has been disappointing,” said BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Another BJP leader, Vijay Goel, described the defeat as a golden opportunity lost.

Though he didn’t name Malhotra directly, he indirectly attacked the veteran leader.

“Every leader has his own vision. Elections are won on the basis of vision and will power,” said Goel.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the selection of the candidates also played a role in the final outcome.

Sudha Pai, political science professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), said: “Malhotra was the chief ministerial candidate so he will be held accountable. This defeat will definitely stay as a bad memory with him for some time.

“But it’s not that politicians do not lose elections. Public memory is not that long. I guess he will return to national politics and it will not be a problem for him.”

“There are a lot of young politicians in the party now like Arun Jaitley who will play a far important role,” she added.

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