"Modi is my political guru. He had encouraged me to contest the 2009 Lok Sabha polls when I was the city mayor. I am very happy to vacate my seat for him. I have already communicated my willingness to the party leadership," Shukla said.

The MP expressed confidence that Modi would win the seat with a thumping majority.

"It would be a proud moment for Vadodara to elect the prime ministerial candidate," he said.

Shukla had won the Vadodara seat with a margin of 1.32 lakh votes in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. He had replaced sitting BJP MP Jataben Thakkar after she had expressed her unwillingness to contest the parliamentary polls.

According to Bharat Dangar, president of the city unit of BJP, the party workers want Modi to contest from Vadodara.

He said Modi's candidature from the constituency will enthuse the entire cadre and voters across Gujarat, especially central Gujarat, as Anand, Kheda and Dohad seats are currently held by the Congress.

The BJP has already declared that Modi will contest elections from the temple town of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, replacing the sitting MP and senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who has been asked to contest from Kanpur.

Gujarat BJP had yesterday decided to recommend the name of veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani to contest the Lok Sabha polls from his Gandhinagar constituency.

The state party unit also said it would strongly recommend that Modi should also contest from his home turf as it is the ‘wish and demand of people of Gujarat as well as party workers’.

(Agencies)

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