Bharatiya Janata Party’s decision to field its president Amit Shah from Gujarat's Gandhinagar parliamentary seat was taken after veteran leader LK Advani expressed his unwillingness to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election, reports Hindustan Times. “Advani told the party three-four days back that he will not contest,” the report quoted a person, considered closed to Advani, as saying.
91-year-old Advani, who has served as Union home minister and deputy prime minister, has won from Gandhinagar six times since 1991, barring the 1996 Lok Sabha polls. In the 1996 general elections, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had won the Gandhinagar seat as well as from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
Credited for orchestrating the BJP's rise to a pre-eminent position in the late 80s and 90s along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee after it won only two Lok Sabha seats in 1984. Advani was moved out of the BJP's highest decision-making body, Parliamentary Board, in 2014 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the party to victory and Shah was made its president.
He was made a member of Margdarshak Mandal (group of mentors), a body which has never met.
Earlier on Thursday, senior party leader JP Nadda while announcing party first list of 184 candidates said Shah will contest Lok Sabha elections from Gujarat's Gandhinagar parliamentary seat. This is the first time when Shah will be contesting the general elections. Currently, he is as a member of the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat.
Naranpura, from where Shah had won the Assembly election in 2012 before he became Rajya Sabha member, is located in Ahmedabad city, but falls in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency.
With PTI Inputs