With the candidate list announced last Thursday, the Bharatiya Janata Party has made it clear that veteran leader L K Advani will not be contesting in BJP tickets any more. Instead, BJP party president Amit Shah is being fielded from Gandhinagar seat, where Advani is the sitting MP. In the candidate list which comprises of 184 names, only Amit Shah’s name has been announced from Gujarat. Amit Shah will be seeking approval through this seat in a first in his political career.
The list also includes names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani. Modi will be retaining his Varanasi seat this time again. Leaders Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, Shanta Kumar and Kalraj Mishra will not be contesting in the upcoming general election.
Advani first contested from Gandhinagar in 1991. Since then, in the years 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014, the seat has been retained by him. In 2014, he won the seat with a vote share of 4.83 lakh votes. He did not contest the elections in the year 1996 because his name was found mentioned in the Jain Hawala Diary Case.
Gandhinagar constituency is a stronghold of the BJP in the state. In the 2017 assembly polls, out of the seven constituencies which fall under Gandhinagar LS seat, BJP had won five seats while two seats were won by Congress. There were strong speculations that Advani’s son Jayant might be fielded from the Gandhinagar seat.
Congress leader P L Punia told ANI that “An outstanding Parliamentarian like L K Advani will be replaced by Amit Shah. Now people are clear that BJP is only run by Amit Shah.”
Congress’s Randeep Surjewala tweeted that ‘first the party forcibly made Lal Krishna Advani a margdarshak and it has now taken away his parliamentary seat.’
Gujarat will go to elections from April 11th to May 19th. Results will be let out by May 23rd.