A day of high drama and controversy ended with senior BJP leader L.K. Advani agreeing on Thursday to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Gandhinagar, as decided by the party on Wednesday. Mr Advani is the sitting MP there.
The party’s Central Election Committee had overlooked Mr. Advani’s desire to shift to Bhopal, insisting he stick to Gandhinagar.
Several senior leaders, including the prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, met Mr. Advani over the past 48 hours in a bid to persuade him to go with the party’s decision. What sweetened the deal for Mr. Advani was BJP president Rajnath Singh’s public statement that the “choice of where to contest from will be left to Mr. Advani himself.”
“I have decided to contest the 2014 general election from Gandhinagar itself,” Mr. Advani said in his one-page statement, saying that he was “deeply touched” by Mr. Singh’s decision.
The RSS was keen that the crisis be resolved at the earliest. Mr. Modi had apprised RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat of the developments on Wednesday night.
But, it is not the end of the travails for the BJP. Veteran leader Jaswant Singh, is reportedly upset that he has not been named as a candidate so far. He is learnt to be keen on contesting from Barmer in Rajasthan.