Advani to go with Gandhinagar

Advani to go with Gandhinagar

After a lot of drama, a sulking L K Advani on Thursday relented and agreed to contest the Lok Sabha elections once again from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Hours after the BJP left it to him to decide, the 87-year-old party patriarch chose his seat in the evening after being cajoled by top leaders. Even the RSS had to intervene to defuse the embarrassing situation.

Advani was reluctant to contest from Gandhinagar again because of his friction with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. He had spoken of Bhopal as his new choice. But he eventually told party chief Rajnath Singh that it would be Gandhinagar.

Advani’s edgy relationship with Narendra Modi was out in the open again on Wednesday when the former skipped internal meetings. 

He told Rajnath Singh that he wanted to change his seat like other senior leaders and contest from Bhopal.

 Despite that, the BJP unanimously decided to renominate the five-time MP from Gandhinagar. This left Advani unhappy. Top leaders met Advani to persuade him not to move to Bhopal. 

The party leadership believes that if Advani had followed through with his plans to relocate to Madhya Pradesh, it would have cemented public perception of the wounded relationship between him and Modi. A press release from Advani’s office reads as if all was always well in the top echelons of the saffron party. “I have been integrally connected with Gujarat since migrating from Karachi in 1947,” reads Advani’s statement.

Advani’s statement said that Modi met him and “emphasised that the people of Gujarat are keen that I represent Gandhinagar Lok Sabha once again.”

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