BJP tussle: Lalji Tandon v/s Rajnath Singh for Lucknow seat
Last week, veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi was in limelight over his Varanasi constituency. But he paved way for the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to contest from his home constituency.
From last three days, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh's capital, has become a "bone of contention" between the sitting MP Lalji Tandon and BJP national president Rajnath Singh.
Singh, who is an MP from Ghaziabad, wants to contest from Lucknow this time. But, Tandon, who has represented Lucknow since 2009, is not willing to vacate his seat.
Instead, he made it clear that he will exit from Lucknow seat only for Narendra Modi.
BJP bargaining hard for Lucknow seat
According to The Telegraph report, the BJP has 'secured' Lucknow seat for Rajnath Singh by offering 78-year-old Tandon, the Rajya Sabha ticket.
Sources also said that Amit Shah, the BJP general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh, called Tandon from Delhi this morning and asked him if it would be okay for him if he is offered Rajya Sabha ticket.
Yesterday, Tandon refuted that he had raised any red flag against fielding party national president Rajnath Singh from the state capital.
"This is far from truth. I have cordial relations with the party president and any question of dissent does not arise," he said.
"I am the sitting MP from the Lucknow seat and I have not been told about any such thought being under consideration in the party," said Tandon, a close aide of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He added that if BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi desired to contest from Lucknow, he would be happy to vacate the seat for him.
The former urban development minister also said that he was born in Lucknow and worked in the state capital.
BJP president Rajnath Singh also played down reports of differences within the party and said that a decision on who contests from where would only be taken by the party's central parliamentary committee.