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Speculation over BJP revamp

LUCKNOW, JULY 4. In the likelihood of a revamp in the Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP, former Assembly Speaker who is a contender for State party president's post, Kesharinath Tripathi, today met former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee here.

BJP State unit president Vinay Katiyar also met Mr Vajpayee.

Party sources said the two leaders held brief meetings with the former Prime Minister during his time reserved for private appointments. Mr Vajpayee is on a two-day visit of Lucknow -- his parliamentary constituency.

Though there was no official comment on the meetings, BJP sources claimed that the two stated their views on the revamp to Mr Vajpayee. ``Mr Vajpayee is the senior most BJP leader and he is the decisive factor in a final decision on the issue,'' said a BJP leader.

Soon after the BJP's poll debacle there had been speculation of a change of guard in the State leadership.

Besides several prominent party leaders who lost in the general elections, Mr Katiyar was also defeated from the Lakhimpur Kheri seat after switching from Faizabad. The BJP High Command was reportedly upset with Mr Katiyar for switching seats. The BJP lost both the Faizabad and the Lakhimpur Kheri seats.

BJP's seat share in U.P. in the Lok Sabha plummeted to 10 from 29.

There has been speculation that former Assembly Speaker might get the top post of the BJP State unit. ``Mr Keshrinath Tripathi has remained non-controversial in the party and is known to have helped several leaders, especially legislators in their time of crisis,'' said a BJP MP.

Though Mr Tripathi too had lost in the polls, the party high command was seriously considering his name, in the backdrop of his good relations within the party and others including those of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP). -- UNI

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