Can Rajnath revive BJP's fortunes?
Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpayi, however, differs and says Rajnath Singh’s unanimous election as the BJP national president for a second time showed he was a national leader.
“Rajnath Singh has a proven record. He is a leader who has a close contact with party workers and supporters,” Bajpayi said.
Under him, not only was the BJP routed in the assembly polls, but it also fared badly in the Lok Sabha polls.
His open hostility to party colleague Kalyan Singh also sparked trouble for the BJP, which in its hey days, used to send more than 50 MPs to the Lok Sabha.
With just two wins in his four-decade-long political career that started with the Jan Sangh, Rajnath Singh, many within the party feel, has an uphill task.
He has won just two elections — one a by-poll for the Haidergarh assembly seat in Barabanki when he was elected the chief minister, and second when he won the Ghaziabad parliamentary seat in 2009. This time, however, owing to large-scale dissent in his constituency, he is likely to contest from another seat.
Old timers, however, recall Rajnath Singh’s rapport with the media and say that despite his exit from Lucknow a decade ago, he has kept “his touch intact”.