Gujarat BJP workers want party president Amit Shah to contest from Gandhinagar parliamentary seat in the state where polling will be held on April 23, a party legislator said on Sunday. The seat is currently held by BJP veteran L K Advani.
Observers were sent by the BJP on Saturday to seek the opinion of party workers and leaders in Gandhinagar about the candidate from the seat. Most party workers reportedly told the observers that Shah was their choice for the seat.
"BJP workers want party president Amit Shah to contest from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat. I made this demand in front of the observers and it was supported by all," said Kishor Chauhan, a party MLA from Vejalpur, which is a part of Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency. He said Shah was earlier an MLA from Sarkhej seat, which is a part of the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency.
No BJP worker or leader staked claim for Gandhinagar and all of them "in one voice demanded that their national leader contest from the seat", party observer Nimaben Acharya said, without revealing the name suggested by the party. All BJP workers were of the view that the seat was held by a national leader so far, so someone from the central leadership should contest from here, another party observer Prithviraj Patel said.
Gujarat BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya, however, said the central parliamentary board would take a decision on who would be the party's candidate from Gandhinagar, or for that matter, any other seat in the state. The Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat was won by Advani six times since 1991, barring the 1996 Lok Sabha polls.
In the 1996 general elections, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had won the Gandhinagar seat as well as from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. The Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat comprises seven assembly constituencies, namely Gandhinagar North, Kalol, Sanand, Ghatlodia, Vejalpur, Naranpura and Sabarmati.
(With inputs from agencies.)