Amid the unease in his ties with Narendra Modi, BJP veteran LK Advani has expressed desire to contest from Bhopal, shifting from Gujarat's Gandhinagar which he has represented five times in the Lok Sabha.
Advani is learnt to have informed party chief Rajnath Singh about his preference for Bhopal, sources said. Television news channels, however, reported that senior BJP leaders requested Advani to contest from Gandhinagar. Sushma Swaraj has been asked to convince Advani, the reports said.
The 86-year-old leader has argued that since most of the senior party leaders were giving their preferences of seats, he too should be allowed to make a choice.
Advani, who was the Deputy Prime Minister in the NDA government, has said he has no problems in contesting from Gandhinagar as such but was keen on contesting from Bhopal as he considered it a safer seat, the sources said.
The decision, however, has been left to the party.
Significantly, Advani skipped Wednesday's crucial meeting of Parliamentary Board here where senior party leaders including Singh and Modi are learnt to have discussed the issue.
The party is insisting that Advani should contest from Gandhinagar as his shifting of constituency will send "wrong signals", the sources said.
His desire to shift from Gandhinagar may be seen as a reflection of the unease in his relationship with Modi.
Advani is not in the best of terms with Modi after he opposed Gujarat chief minister's anointment as BJP's PM candidate recently.
The sources said if the party decides to field Advani from Bhopal, Modi's confidante and former state minister Amit Shah may be given ticket from Gandhinagar.
Meanwhile, sitting Bhopal MP and BJP veteran Kailash Joshi today said he is not keen on contesting from the seat and he had offered the seat to the BJP patriarch.
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