New Delhi, Feb.13: Human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi has been drafted for the high-level talks on Uttar Pradesh’s BJP-BSP coalition troubles at the Prime Minister’s behest, party sources said.
Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu took the initiative to resolve the problems that cropped up between the Uttar Pradesh BJP and Bahujan Samaj Party chief minister Mayavati.
Initially, Joshi was not part of the talks, which will begin tomorrow with a meeting between Advani and Naidu and the state party contingent of Vinay Katiyar, Kalraj Mishra, Rajnath Singh, Lalji Tandon and Om Prakash Singh.
Yesterday evening, however, BJP sources said, Uttar Pradesh unit chief Katiyar called on Joshi and complained how “things had gone out of hand” and insisted on his intervention.
Joshi had earlier played a role in 1995 in sewing up the BJP-BSP alliance for the first time and again in 1997.
This time, however, he did not have a role to play as Advani and Naidu dealt directly with Mayavati and BSP chief Kanshi Ram.
BJP sources said Naidu called up Joshi this morning and spoke of “things not being favourable for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh” and requested him to be present at tomorrow’s meeting as also at the one scheduled for Saturday between BJP leaders and Mayavati.
Sources close to Naidu confirmed Joshi would be present at both meetings. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, too, indicated Joshi’s presence would help, the sources said.
Although Joshi was not in the centrestage of Uttar Pradesh politics, sources close to him said he was in touch with Katiyar and Mishra and monitoring the ground situation.
Katiyar was Joshi’s nominee for the state BJP president when K. Jana Krishnamurthi was the national president.