Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial aspirant Narendra Modi is learnt to be contemplating against contesting from the Gandhinagar seat represented by party veteran L.K. Advani and Varanasi represented by senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi.
Speculations have been doing the rounds for the past many days that Mr. Modi will contest from both these constituencies. This had generated considerable heat, with Mr. Joshi demanding clarity on the issue during a recent meeting of the party’s Central Parliamentary Board.
The Gandhinagar constituency was believed to be Mr. Modi’s sure choice. But Mr. Advani sprang a surprise during a visit to the State last week when he expressed his wish to seek re-election from here for the sixth time. He said he could have contested from Kutch. But since that is a reserved seat, he would stick to Gandhinagar.
Party sources said the ongoing Gujarat Parliamentary Board meeting to decide candidates for the Lok Sabha elections discussed Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad East, Vadodara and Surat as possible seats for Mr. Modi. But the Chief Minister was keeping his cards close to the chest.
It is now being speculated among the State leaders that Mr. Modi would settle for Vadodara or Surat instead of queering the pitch for Mr. Advani and Mr. Joshi. Ahmedabad East is also learnt to be Mr. Modi’s choice since his own assembly constituency Maninagar falls under this seat. “Modi may not want fissures in the party’s central leadership at this juncture when elections are so close,” a party source said.
But if Mr. Modi decides to contest from Ahmedabad East, it would mean dislodging the seven-time MP, Harin Pathak. “Such sacrifices have to be made for a prime ministerial candidate,” a senior party leader told The Hindu.