After ensuring that his former mentor L K Advani will contest from his traditional Gandhinagar seat, BJP's PM nominee Narendra Modi has now thrown his weight behind the party patriarch and deputed his trusted aide Anandiben Patel to ensure Advani sails through to win his sixth term.
Advani, who had opposed Modi's ascension as party's PM pick, had expressed his desire to contest from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh this time but backed off apparently after Modi prevailed upon top party leadership.The reluctant contestant, however, is totally dependent on BJP machinery for the elections even though Modi is leaving no stone unturned to ensure Advani's victory with a huge margin. Congress has given ticket to local candidate Kirit Patel, the former MLA of Visnagar. According to party insiders, the move is aimed at giving a sort of walkover to Advani with a belief that the 87-year-old may somehow act as a counterbalance to Modi.
The only problem the BJP poll managers may encounter is to maintain the lead for the BJP veteran who had won by a margin of over 1.2 lakh votes in 2009. Though Advani campaigned here for a maximum of five days due to his busy campaign schedule nationwide, his family members, including daughter Pratibha and son Jayant, have been campaigning relentlessly.
Gandhinagar will go to polls on April 30 in a single-phase poll for all 26 seats in the state.
In a bid to dispel reports on his 'soured' relation with Advani, Modi has deputed Anandiben Patel, the senior-most minister in his cabinet, to handle the responsibility of his campaigning. While Patel has been campaigning extensively in the seat for Advani, Modi had also held one rally in support of the former deputy prime minister here. Advani first won Gandhinagar seat in 1991 and later in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009. Though Advani has won seven Lok Sabha elections, but he had not contested from Gandhinagar when he entered Lok Sabha in 1989 for the first time. (More)