The suspense over Narendra Modi contesting from Varanasi could end on Saturday, with the BJP's Central Election Committee planning to announce "most" of the seats of Uttar Pradesh.
However, till Friday night some members of the CEC and senior party leaders in UP were still in the dark on the seats of the important leaders, including Modi.
A senior party leader told dna that the party was making efforts to finalise most of the 80 seats of UP at the meeting, which will be attended by Modi. The other states expected to be taken up include Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan.
Many of the senior leaders from UP, including some sitting MPs, were not sure whether they would be renominated as there was no word from the party brass. However, party sources said once it was decided where Modi would contest from, it would be the last word and nothing, not even any dissonance, would come in the way.
If Modi contested from Varanasi, sitting MP Murli Manohar Joshi would have to shift to Kanpur, where the sitting MP is Kalraj Mishra. Like Joshi was campaigning in Varanasi, Mishra was working in Kanpur in the hope of getting a ticket from the seat.
Similarly, Lalji Tandon was banking on getting a ticket from Lucknow, a seat from which party chief Rajnath Singh is keen on contesting. Meetings went on late into the night to decide on the seats to be taken up at the next day. It remains an open question whether Modi would contest from two seats -- one from UP and the other from his home state, Gujarat. There is pressure on Modi from both Gujarat and UP, but a party leader said a final decision was left to a small group of top leaders. Most party leaders said they were clueless if Modi would contest from two seats. Sources also revealed that Modi had been keen on contesting from Gujarat, though he has not yet given any clear indication which seat or seats he would pick.
Gujarat state general secretary Vijay Rupani had said on Thursday that Modi will contest the elections from one of the four seats-- Ahmedabad East, Vadodara, Surat or Rajkot.
In the party's assessment, Modi's contesting from Varanasi would mean a boost to the party's prospects in the crucial state and bordering Bihar. The BJP is also expected to decide on the seven seats of Delhi. The names under consideration include Udit Raj, MJ Akbar, Subramanian Swamy, Mahesh Giri, Vijendra Gupta and Hardeep Puri.