BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will contest from two Lok Sabha constituencies. He exercised his right to choose a second seat and picked Vadodara in Gujarat.
His candidature has already been announced from Varanasi. But while he made his choice, party elder LK Advani, who wanted to quit his Gandhinagar seat and contest from Bhopal, was denied the right to pick his seat.
CEC member Thawar Chand Gehlot announced Advani’s candidature from Gandhinagar, among 67 names that were picked by the Committee in its day-long deliberations. There was suspense about the fate of another senior leader, Jaswant Singh, whose candidature which was expected to be announced from Barmer.
The name of the candidate for Barmer was not announced by the CEC, which announced all the other 24 seats from Rajasthan.
Father-son duo Jaswant won from Darjeeling in 2009 and was reportedly keen on contesting from Barmer this time. His son Manvendra Singh, who contested the Assembly election from Shivpur, was also hoping to contest the Lok Sabha polls. What transpired from the latest list was that Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, whose relationship with Singh can only be described as openly hostile, is not about to let the father-son duo claim any seats in the 16th Lok Sabha.
The BJP is fielding Olympian Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore from Jaipur Rural while Vasundhara Raje’s son Dushyant Singh is contesting from the family seat of Jhalawar once again. Dushyant is the sitting MP from Jhalawar.
The party has fielded film star Hema Malini from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, where two more imports from other parties — Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh from Samajwadi Party and Jagdambika Pal from the Congress — are fielded from their existing seats of Kaisargunj and Domariyagunj, respectively. Senior Bihar leader Ashwini Kumar Choubey has been fielded from Buxar. Tension between Advani and Modi could be sensed when the former chose to recuse himself from the CEC meeting..
None for Bhopal In what was perceived to have been a significant expression of distrust towards Modi, Advani had let it be known that he wanted to quit his Gandhinagar seat and contest from Bhopal. Accordingly, in the list of probable candidates for Madhya Pradesh, no one had been nominated for the Bhopal seat. It was presumed that since both Rajnath Singh and Modi have been allowed to choose their seats, even at the cost of annoying senior leaders, Advani too will get his choice. That was not to be.