No row over Lucknow seat, says BJP
BJP's president Rajnath Singh and the party's Lucknow MP Lalji Tandon Monday refuted reports of differences within the Bharatiya Janata Party over fielding the party chief from the Uttar Pradesh capital.
Asked about the differences, Tandon said it is "far from truth".
"I have cordial relations with the party president and any question of dissent does not arise," he said.
Rajnath Singh also played down reports of differences within the party and said a decision on who contests from where would only be taken by the party's central election committee.
"The central election committee of the party takes these decisions. Even the decision for me will be taken by the party," Rajnath Singh said.
Tandon said that so far nobody has informed him on the proposed candidature of Rajnath Singh, as is being reported in the media.
"I am the sitting MP from the Lucknow seat and I have not been told about any such thought being under consideration by the party," said Tandon, a close aide of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He said that if the 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.
Party leader Kalraj Mishra too trashed reports that Tandon was angry.
"These reports are a creation of the media. The party's central board will decide on the candidates keeping in mind their winnability and their effect on nearby seats," Mishra told IANS.
He, however, said it would be better if the party consulted Tandon before considering the parliamentary candidate for Lucknow.
Earlier, reports also surfaced about a rift between the party and senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi over speculation that Modi may contest from Varanasi, which Joshi represents in the Lok Sabha.
Joshi, however, dismissed the reports.
(Posted on 10-03-2014)