New Delhi: While the Bharatiya Janta Party managed to mollify Lal Krishna Advani, the party is still facing rebellion from its senior leader Jaswant Singh, who is keen on contesting Lok Sabha elections from his hometown Barmer in Rajasthan.
While after a day long drama, Advani on Thursday evening declared that he would contest from his traditional seat of Gandhinagar in Gujarat; Singh, who had been fielded from Dahod in Gujarat on Wednesday by the central election committee, has warned the BJP that if he is not given the Barmer seat, then he will contest as an Independent from there.
According to sources a section of the BJP is pushing for the candidature of Colonel Sona Ram from Barmer.
Singh, who is an MP from Darjeeling seat, had said that he will not contest from West Bengal anymore and had added that he wanted to contest from his native town Barmer. Speaking to CNN-IBN, Singh had said, "It has been a pleasure to contest from Darjeeling but this will be my last election so I want to go back to my hometown."
The BJP, which has faced embarrassment in the last few days over Advani's reluctance to contest from Gandhinagar and instead opt for Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, may have to face another imbroglio if it fails to reach any consensus on Barmer seat. Advani, who reportedly wanted to contest from Bhopal, on Thursday evening said that he will contest from Gandhinagar, a seat from where he has been fighting elections since 1991.
But the trouble doesn't end here for the BJP, sources have also told CNN-IBN that Advani wants the BJP to field former union minister and his close aide Harin Pathak from Ahmedabad East. Pathak is the sitting MP from Ahmedabad East. The irony is that BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had opposed Pathak's nomination in 2009, which was overruled by both Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi then. The BJP is yet to announce its candidate from Ahmedabad East.
The BJP may be denying any rift within the party, but on contrary the party had been facing major embarrassment after Modi was made party's face for the 2014 polls with a few leaders even making their discontent public over the decision.
The first to show displeasure was Advani by not attending BJP's Goa conclave. It's been seversl months since Modi's anointment but rift within the party is still grabbing headlines, though for different issue. Political experts also hold that the BJP is now heading to one man show.
While with less than three weeks for elections, it will interesting to see if Modi can bring the senior party leaders including Jaswant Singh on board.