Playing down reports of differences over his candidature, Lal Krishna Advani on Thursday evening said that he will be contesting 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Gandhinagar in Gujarat, the seat which has been allotted to him on Wednesday.
In a statement released on Thursday evening, Advani said, "Having represented Gandhinagar Constituency in the Lok Sabha since 1991, I have decided to contest the 2014 General Elections from Gandhinagar itself. I have conveyed my opinion to Shri Rajnath Singh."
Rajnath had earlier said that Advani is free to contest from either Gandhinagar or Bhopal, a seat offered to the BJP patriarch by the Madhya Pradesh unit. "I have spoken to all the party leaders. I have consulted the Parliamentary Board and the CEC members as well. We have decided that the final decision on the choice of seat for Advani be left to the leader himself," BJP chief Rajnath Singh said.
The BJP's parliamentary board and the central election committee had on Wednesday decided to field Advani from Gandhinagar.
Here is the full text of his statement:
Shri Rajnath Singh, the President of my party had conveyed to me the desire of the Gujarat Unit of the BJP and the decision of the Election Committee yesterday that I should contest the Parliamentary election from Gandhinagar.
This morning Shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister, Gujarat also came over to my residence and emphasized that the people of Gujarat are keen that I represent Gandhinagar Lok Sabha once again.
Today Shri Rajnath Singh informed me that theMadhya Pradesh Unit of the BJP has also suggested my name for contesting the Bhopal Parliamentary seat. He has further informed me that after consulting all colleagues in the Parliamentary Board and the Central Election Committee of the Party, it has been agreed that the choice between the two parliamentary seats should be left to me.
I am deeply touched by this gesture of my party colleagues. I had some weeks ago said that I would be contesting the Parliamentary election from Gandhinagar itself. I have been integrally connected with Gujarat since migrating from Karachi in 1947. I have represented the State both in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Having represented Gandhinagar Constituency in the Lok Sabha since 1991, I have decided to contest the 2014 General Elections from Gandhinagar itself. I have conveyed my opinion to Shri Rajnath Singh.
I am extremely grateful to Shri Kailash Joshi, the present member from Bhopal in Lok Sabha, Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Narinder Singh Tomar, President, Madhya Pradesh BJP and all members of the Election Committee of Madhya Pradesh for proposing my name from Bhopal Parliamentary constituency.