BJP chief and Lucknow candidate Rajnath Singh kicked off his campaign on Wednesday by invoking Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s legacy as he arrived in the city with the former PM’s close aide Shiv Kumar. “After I was declared party candidate, he (Shiv Kumar) expressed the desire to accompany me to Lucknow on my first visit (after announcement). I am grateful to him,” Rajnath said, referring to Atal’s four-decade-old aide who was sitting next to him.
In 1969, Shiv Kumar gave up his law practice to work full time for Vajpayee on Jan Sangh’s instructions. Since then, he has remained with the former PM like his shadow. Even a decade after Vajpayee’s political retirement and ill health, Kumar continues to take care of the elderly leader.
Rajnath began his news conference by calling his constituency “Atal ki karmabhoomi, shaam-e-awadh Lucknow”, and said his mission is to fulfill his mentor’s dream, who won five consecutive terms from the city.
The BJP chief also quelled his predecessor Lalji Tandon’s discontentment saying the incumbent MP had requested him to contest from Lucknow. Tandon, who was present at the press meet, gave an affirmative nod.