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Race on for BJP's UP CM candidate, fans launch online campaigns

Lucknow: Though more than two years are left for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, supporters of BJP leaders have started an aggressive online campaign for their choice of chief ministerial candidate.

Enthusiastic over BJP's thumping victory in the Lok Sabha elections this year, supporters and "fans" are trying to reach out to the cyber community to promote leaders of their liking as the next CM of the state on social networking sites, though the BJP has distanced itself from such kind of campaigns.

Most of these leaders, for whom support is being elicited in the virtual world, are offsprings of BJP national bigwigs.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh's son Pankaj, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi's son Varun and former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh's son Rajveer are among those for whom the social media is being used.

Other prominent names are -- state BJP president Laxmi Kant Bajpai and MP from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath.

A Facebook page dedicated to Pankaj, who is also the state general secretary of BJP, has been created by "CM for UP fans club" and has a friend list of more than 4,000 people.

The BJP leader, however, said he was not in favour of such kind of campaigning.

"I appeal to all such enthusiastic supporters that instead of projecting a single person they should propagate the nationalist ideology of the party," Pankaj told PTI.

Another leader who has a page dedicated to him on the social networking website is Sultanpur MP Varun Gandhi.

The page, created by a group which claims itself to be 'Varun Gandhi Youth Brigade', has been promoting the national
secretary as the next Chief Minister.

Incidentally, Maneka had recently said in Pilibhit that UP would have benefited had there been a BJP-led government in
the state with Varun as its chief minister.

"It would have been better had there been our government in the state then we would have got work done authoritatively.

It would have been even better if the government would have been run by Varun, in that case Pilibhit should have benefited
most," she had said during a meeting in Takia village.

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