L.K. won’t contest from Gandhinagar: Vaghela

Former Union minister and Leader of the Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Shankarsinh Vaghela on Wednesday disclosed that the BJP veteran L.K. Advani will not contest the Lok Sabha election from Gandhinagar this time.
“Advaniji will contest from other (safer) seat or prefer to become the Rajya Sabha member,” Mr Vaghela predicted while talking to a group of reporters in New Delhi during the day. Mr Vaghela, who spent many years of his active political life in the BJP and the Sangh Parivar, knows well the mindset of its senior leaders and their tactics to check rivals within the party.
He said no one should surprise if the Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi would contest the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat. “He (Modi) will contest from two Lok Sabha seats. One from Gandhinagar and another from UP,” he said.
Mr Modi is emerging as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. While the party strongly backing him after its ally — Janata Dal (U) — openly refused to accept Mr Modi as the DNA’s PM candidate, senior BJP leaders have been maintaining silence on the issue.
Mr Advani, who has been winning the Lok Sabha elections from Gandhinagar before undertaking Somnath to Ayodhya “rath yatra” could be in a double mind this time. This is because he has not withdrawn himself from the PM race.
Asked whether Mr Modi’s fighting the Lok Sabha election from Gujarat would increase the BJP’s numbers from the state, Mr Vaghela said “not at all.”
“H.D. Deve Gowada was the PM but did increase his party’s seats in Karnataka. V.P. Singh, Chandra Shekhar became the PM but did it help their parties in UP?” he asked.
Mr Vaghela also accused the Gujarat chief minister of “communalising” politics and debunked his development model.
“Gujarat’s economic development under the present chief minister is a glass full of gas and no water. It’s a myth, a hype. There are many other states like Orissa and Bihar, which are doing much better,” Mr Vaghela told reporters.

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