BJP leadership attempts to placate Advani over constituency

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New Delhi, March 19 The BJP leadership on Wednesday tried to placate L K Advani who expressed his displeasure over the party's decision to field him from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency despite his desire to shift to Bhopal.

Senior BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari met Advani at his residence and spent about 45 minutes in their bid to persuade the BJP veteran who is reluctant to contest from Gandhinagar and instead wanted to be fielded from Bhopal.

After meeting Advani, both Swaraj and Gadkari went to BJP president Rajnath Singh's house where they conveyed the party patriarch's unhappiness over the Central Election Committee's decision against his wishes.

During their meeting with Rajnath, RSS leader Suresh Soni was also present, sources said. BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi also met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat soon after the CEC meeting ended, to clear the air over Advani's candidature and use his good offices to resolve the issue.

Advani is understood to have conveyed to the party leadership his desire to exercise his option of selecting a seat for himself, like many other BJP leaders have done. The BJP patriarch is of the view that just as the party has fielded Modi from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, Arun Jaitley from Punjab and Rajnath Singh from Lucknow, he be fielded along with Swaraj from Madhya Pradesh to help the BJP "maximise the gains" in the area.

He has also questioned the CEC's decision to accept the proposal from Gujarat to field him from Gandhinagar and not considering a similar proposal from Madhya Pradesh unit of the party to field him from Bhopal.

Advani has made his displeasure clear to the party leadership which is now finding it difficult to prevail over him and put an end to the unseemly controversy over his choice constituency.

PTI

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