Suspense over Narendra Modi's seat may prolong
While the BJP's third list for the Lok Sabha polls was silent on where it's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will contest from, party sources say the suspense may linger as there is in no hurry in taking a decision.
A party leader, who did not want to be named, said the Modi's seat will be declared only in the final list. He did not give any date for the announcement, though.
While the party has come up with three lists so far, not a single candidate has been announced from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
Modi, the three-term Gujarat chief minister, is likely to fight from at least one seat in the state.
However, while Gandhinagar came up as the first choice for Modi, party veteran L.K. Advani being the incumbent MP from there, came as an obstacle.
Advani was not ready to vacate his Lok Sabha seat, while the party wanted to accommodate him in Rajya Sabha.
The second seat under consideration in Gujarat is Vadodara.
However, as a section of party felt fighting from Uttar Pradesh would increase Modi's stakes as a national leader, Varanasi, considered a BJP bastion, came
Varanasi is the constituency of party veteran Murli Manohar Joshi and sources in the party feel his opposition would not be "the most difficult thing to handle".
A party leader commented that Modi's war front should not be announced soon and the surprise element should be there for the "enemy" till the end.
"We don't want to hurry in announcing Modiji's Lok Sabha seat. Let there be some surprise element for the enemy," a senior BJP leader told IANS on condition of
"So it is not about conflicts in the party, it is all poll strategy," he added.
Another party leader contended that the leadership also wanted to calculate the prospects before fielding Modi from any seat, and so they should not rush this.
"Varanasi has a large ratio of Muslims, mainly weavers and artisans. These factors need to be taken into account," a BJP leader from Uttar Pradesh said.
Differences also came up in BJP over the Lucknow seat, from where party president Rajnath Singh wanted to contest. The seat is presently held by Lalji Tondon, who has been close to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
(Posted on 14-03-2014)