There is a sense of unease among a section of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh over the party decision to field Uma Bharti in the Assembly elections.

Though the announcement made by BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Ms. Bharti's candidature comes as no surprise, some of the Uttar Pradesh unit leaders believe that it sends out wrong signals about the party affairs in the State. A senior leader argued that by pitching Ms. Bharti as a candidate and a ‘star campaigner', the central leadership has left the party vulnerable to attack that it has no leaders of standing in U.P.

Earlier in the day, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, in the course of his election campaign in U.P., ridiculed the BJP for banking on a leader from Madhya Pradesh to help it in the polls.

The logic of the BJP leadership that Ms. Bharti will help the party mobilise voters from the Backward Classes, in the perception of U.P. BJP leaders opposed to the move, is self-defeating.