Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi stayed in hospital for the second day running, delaying further the BJP's difficult decision on its nominee for Ahmedabad's contentious Ellisbridge seat.
The deadline for filing of nominations is now less than 48 hours away, and the party is no
closer to resolving differences over the re-nomination of former minister and sitting MLA Haren Pandya.
Modi, who was kept under observation at the Gandhinagar Civil Hospital overnight, was on Saturday morning shifted to Ahmedabad's U.N. Mehta Hospital for further tests.
The results of an angiography carried out on him have been found to be normal. Doctors, however, said the chief minister would have to be kept under observation for some more time before they can decide on a date for discharging him.
On Saturday, BJP circles here were abuzz with speculation over the 'timing' of Modi's illness. Senior party leaders, including BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley, had rushed here on Friday night to persuade Modi to give up his opposition to Pandya's re-nomination, but had apparently had no luck.
With nominations closing on Monday, many in the BJP are now reported to have begun thinking aloud whether the 'illness' is Modi's ploy to get around pressure exerted by his party leadership to accept Pandya's nomination.
Though officially the party's remained tight-lipped on Saturday, some leaders and workers said privately that Modi's 'Me or Haren' attitude, if not corrected quickly, might harm the BJP's electoral prospects. One BJP leader said the "ego of one individual" was causing incalculable damage to the party.
The state BJP president Rajendrasinh Rana, however, said the third list of nominees would be declared at the "right time".