New Delhi: Favouring National Mahila Morcha President Smriti Irani over Ismail Durbar, the BJP high command nominated her for the Gujarat Rajya Sabha election to be held on July 22. The decision was taken by the BJP’s Central Election Committee after getting approval from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Senior leader from RSS background, Dilip Bhai Pandya also came up for the second seat of the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.

Three Rajya Sabha members, Ahmed Patel, Surendra Patel and Praveen Naik will be completing their term on July 18.

However, sources reveal that doubts regarding Smriti’s selection prevailed in the party. Three years back Smriti was highly criticised by Gujarat BJP for condemning Narendra Modi in the 2002 Godhra riots case.

Other contenders for the same seat included national party spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman, former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Najma Heptullah and recently inducted in the party, Ismail Darbar, a music composer.

It may be noted that out of three, two seats are reserved for BJP and one for Congress.

JPN/Bureau