The unease between Narendra Modi and L K Advani today took a new turn with the BJP patriarch insisting that he would contest from Bhopal and not Gandhinagar in Gujarat which he has represented five times in the Lok Sabha.
The 86-year-old former Deputy Prime Minister conveyed to party chief Rajnath Singh that he should have the right to choose his constituency as most of the other senior party leaders have been allocated their preferred seats, sources said.
The issue figured in the meetings of BJP's Parliamentary Board as well Central Election Committee which were attended by Singh and Modi. Advani skipped both of the meetings.The party was trying to persuade him to contest from Gandhinagar as shifting would send a wrong signal.
Advani has said he has no problems in contesting from Gandhinagar as such but was keen on contesting from Bhopal as he considered it a safer seat, the sources said.
His desire to shift from Gandhinagar may be seen as a reflection of the unease in his relationship with Modi.
Advani is not in the best of terms with Modi after he opposed Gujarat Chief Minister's anointment as BJP's PM candidate recently.
Advani has represented Gandhinagar in the 10th Lok Sabha (1991-96), 12th Lok Sabha (1998-99), 13th Lok Sabha (1999-2004), 14th Lok Sabha (2004-09) and the current 15th Lok Sabha (2009-14).
The sources said if the party decides to field Advani from Bhopal, Modi's confidante and former state minister Amit Shah may be given ticket from Gandhinagar.
Meanwhile, sitting Bhopal MP and BJP veteran Kailash Joshi today said he is not keen on contesting from the seat and he had offered the seat to the BJP patriarch.