Joshi invokes history to keep Varanasi seat

Wants Modi to be fielded from Lucknow

Murli Manohar Joshi, the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader who might have to give up his Varanasi Lok Sabha seat for Narendra Modi, has  offered a counter solution that sitting MPs be allowed to contest from their respective constituencies, while Modi be fielded from Lucknow.

It is not only a safe seat but also has a symbolic value. The state capital had sent former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the Lok Sabha earlier. If the Gujarat chief minister wants to contest from Varanasi constituency, then Joshi should have the liberty to contest from a constituency of his choice, sources said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s central election committee meeting on Saturday was chaired by party president Rajnath Singh and attended among others by L K Advani, Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Murli Manohar Joshi, Ananth Kumar and  Venkaiah Naidu.

Rajnath Singh had to face uncomfortable questions from Sushma Swaraj, who again expressed her reservation over moves to either have a truck or induct tainted leaders of

BSR Congress, B Sriramulu and mining baron Reddy brothers, who were once close to her.

Against tainted leaders Swaraj is of the view that the BJP’s anti-corruption plank will be questioned if the tainted leaders are drafted into the party.

Ironically, the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to field former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa from Shimoga, despite him facing corruption charges. Even his re-entry was delayed due to Advani’s resistance over his induction.

Leaving aside important states, which will be covered in the third round of the poll panel’s meeting, likely on Thursday.

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