For the coming general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is considering moving its veteran, L K Advani, out of Gujarat to contest from a constituency in a different state.
One strand of thinking is to have leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, contesting from New Delhi and Advani from her current seat, Vidisha.
Advani is a member of Parliament from the Gandhinagar seat at present. But, it is learnt, he is no more a popular figure in the state, as he had counselled his party to wait before announcing (Gujarat Chief Minister) Narendra Modi’s name as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
By staying away from BJP’s Goa meeting and subsequently writing to party president Rajnath Singh, virtually charging him with betraying an understanding on the status of Modi, Advani had indicated he was opposed to Modi’s elevation.
Advani’s supporters, however, believe this a misrepresentation. Advani wanted a delay in announcement of Modi’s name as the PM candidate because he felt, amid an anti-Congress wave, Modi’s handling of the 2002 Gujarat violence could become a disadvantage and put the party in a defensive position. That stance, however, caused a lot of hostility and, the party feels, could cause unexpected upsets.
According to sources, the discussion on fielding Advani from a different constituency is at a preliminary stage and some decision on it might come only by the end of January 2014.