Advani visits Gandhinagar, expresses desire to contest LS elections from his constituency

Indian Express | 28 Feb 2014

While his name was not in the first list of Lok Sabha candidates announced by the BJP earlier this week, party patriarch Lal Krishna Advani has not lost hopes and visited his Gandhinagar consituency on Friday, signalling his interest to contest from the same seat.

“My name was not in the first list of candidates. But I am here today”, Advani said while expressing his desire to contest from Gandhinagar, the Lok sabha constituency that he has been representing since 1991.

“After migration from Pakistan we had shifted to Kutch district in Gujarat. Kutch seat is my first choice, but its a reserved seat. In that case I would like to again contest from Gandhinagar,” said the former prime minister.

Adavni, along with Ahmedabad East BJP MLA Harin Pathak attended the District Monitoring and Vigilance Committee meet to get an update on the development work being done from the MP grants.

Advani, who in June 2013 had resigned from all the party posts to oppose Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s escalation as chairman of the BJP election committee only to withdraw later, had also protested when his once close confidant Modi was declared as BJP’s Prime Ministrial cadidate for the 2014 General Elections. But off late, Modi has been seen with his mentor in Gujarat at the inauguration of development projects in Ahmedabad and at BJP’s new headquarters in Shri Kamalam, Gandhinagar.

Advani, who was BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, has not fought from a seat outside Gujarat ever since 1991, a year after he kick-started Ramrath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya that led to demolition of the Babri mosque and subsequent rise of the BJP coming to power at centre in 1996.

Post 1998 BJP Lok Sabha win, Advani became the Deputy Prime Minister but he didn’t change his constituency. After Modi became Gujarat CM in 2001, his mentor Advani has contested from here twice, in 2004 and 2009, and won. While BJP’s performance in those last two elections have hardly improved, Advani managed to retain the seat. Rest of the two elections prior to 1991, Advani contested from New Delhi seat and won. However, his 2009 win was by a lowest margin of only 54.9 per cent of all his contests since 1991 from Gandhinagar. It was more than 7 per cent less than his 2004 winning margin of 61 per cent.