"This is far from truth. I have cordial relations with the party president and there is no question of any dissent," he said.

He, however, added that so far nobody has sounded him on the proposed candidature of Rajnath Singh.

"I am the sitting MP from Lucknow seat and I have not been told about any such thought being under consideration in the party," said Tandon, a close aide of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He added that if BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi desired to contest from Lucknow, he would be happy to vacate the seat for him.

The BJP leader also said that he was born in Lucknow and worked in the state capital.
Rajnath Singh also played down reports of differences within the party and said that a decision on who contests from where would only be taken by the party's central parliamentary committee.

Senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra too trashed reports that Tandon was angry.

"These reports are media creation. The party's central board will decide on the candidates keeping in mind their winnability and their affect on nearby seats," he said.

He, however, said it would be better if the party consults Lalji Tandon before considering the candidate for Lucknow.

Joshi denies rift in BJP over Varanasi seat

Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Sunday denied any rift within the party over Varanasi constituency saying he would accept party's decision as a ‘disciplined soldier’.

Joshi, 80, who is believed to have raised the issue at the BJP’s Election Committee meeting here on Saturday, however, said that the party should keep in mind the ‘winnability’ aspect besides the ‘prestige’ of the prime ministerial candidate while taking a final call.

When repeatedly pressed for his expectations and whether he would agree to vacate the seat for Modi, Joshi, a five-time Lok Sabha MP, a decision in this regard will be taken by the Parliamentary Board on Thursday.

"The decision will be taken by Parliamentary Board. A meeting (of CEC) is taking place on March 13," he said.

Joshi is believed to be unhappy over moves to field Modi from Varanasi. Some sections of the party are keen that Modi should contest from Varanasi but Joshi is asserting his right over his candidature from the constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

"The party would take a decision which would neither dent the prestige of our PM candidate nor compromise party’s winning chances,” he added.

He went on to add, "I don’t talk about such issues outside. Whatever I say is within the party."

At the same time, he trashed reports of a poster war between supporters of Modi and him in the constituency as the "mental fiction" of media.

Another senior leader Sushma Swaraj, who is understood to have joined Joshi on the issue at the CEC meeting, tried to downplay any rift in the party.

Swaraj told reporters in Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh that the issue of who will contest from Varanasi was not even discussed at the CEC meet.

"I was present in the meeting in Delhi yesterday. Names of candidates for Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh did not figure in the deliberations. Media reports in this regard are baseless," she said.

She also denied reports that she had left the meeting half way because of her anger, saying she had pre-planned programme in Madhya Pradesh and was scheduled to leave early.


Latest News from India News Desk