After hectic deliberations, the BJP announced Advani’s candidature from Gandhinagar, brushing aside his desire to shift out of Gujarat. (JPN/Agencies)
Hectic discussions preceded the decision on Advani at the day-long meeting of the BJP’s Central Election Committee from which the party patriarch kept away, arguing that he did not want to be part of discussions involving his constituency.
Advani had conveyed to party president Rajnath Singh that he wanted to shift to Bhopal from Gandhinagar, which he has represented five times in the Lok Sabha.
The BJP’s announcement to field him from Gandhinagar upset Advani and he conveyed his displeasure to Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari, who met him after the Central Election Committee meeting, in a bid to pacify him over the party's decision.
The two leaders then met Rajnath Singh to convey 86-year-old Advani’s views.
According to sources, Advani had insisted that he should have the right to choose his constituency like many other leaders who have been allocated their preferred seats.
The BJP is trying its best to persuade Modi to contest from Gandhinagar. BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi met Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat apparently to seek his intervention in resolving the issue. Modi, who had a telephonic conversation with Advani on Wednesday, met him at his residence in New Delhi today and requested him to contest the polls from Gandhinagar.
Advani has represented Gandhinagar in the 10th Lok Sabha (1991-96), 12th Lok Sabha (1998-99), 13th Lok Sabha (1999-2004), 14th Lok Sabha (2004-09) and the current 15th Lok Sabha (2009-14).
Meanwhile, Modi will contest from a second seat -- Vadodara in Gujarat -- apart from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
The list of 67 candidates finalized by the BJP on Wednesday include actress Hema Malini, who will be contesting from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, and Olympic medalist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who will contest from Jaipur (Rural).
After hectic deliberations, the BJP announced Advani’s candidature from Gandhinagar, brushing aside his desire to shift out of Gujarat.