"I had never intended not contesting from Gandhinagar," senior BJP leader L K Advani said here today as he arrived for filing his nomination from the Lok Sabha constituency.
Advani, who has been the MP from here for five times, was reacting to questions related to the controversy regarding his desire to contest from Bhopal because of his reported differences with Narendra Modi. The veteran leader recalled his relations with Gujarat and Gandhinagar from where he is seeking re-election to the lower House for the sixth term. "Absolutely. Rejoicing. Afterall, my relations with Gandhinagar and with Gujarat did not start with my contesting from here. They started with the unfortunate aspect (partition) that accompanied India's Independence," he said when asked whether he was happy to be contesting from Gandhinagar.
When asked about his reported preference for Bhopal over Gandhinagar, Advani said, "No, that is not exactly true. There was a very strong request from Madhya Pradesh to contest from Bhopal also."
Polling for the seat will take place on April 30. The sources said Modi will accompany the BJP patriarch while filing of his papers. Advani's daughter Pratibha is also likely to be present. Advani had earlier expressed his desire to shift his constituency from Gandhinagar to Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, but decided to contest from Gandhinagar later, following intervention of RSS and the party.
The party and RSS were of the view that Advani by not contesting from Gujarat would send wrong signals and he should contest from the seat he has been representing for the last several years.
Advani and Modi are not said to share the best of ties and the party's veteran leader did not attend the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting in which Modi was declared the party's prime ministerial candidate. He had earlier quit from all party posts but had to change his mind later following RSS' intervention.