Mar 20, 2014 at 01:44pm IST

Modi, Sushma try to persuade Advani to contest from Gandhinagar

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in a damage control mode after the divide within the party over veteran LK Advani's Lok Sabha seat came out in the open. Advani has been nominated to fight from the Gandhinagar seat again, even though he himself wants to contest from Bhopal.

Senior leaders, including the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Venkaiah Naidu and Sushma Swaraj met Advani at his residence early on Thursday morning in a bid to persuade him.

Though it is not clear as to what transpired at the meeting, sources said Advani is adamant on contesting from Bhopal, saying that he be given a chance to exercise his option to select his seat just as other top party leaders like Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Modi.

The BJP's parliamentary board and the central election committee, the two top decision making bodies of the party had on Wednesday decided to field him from Gandhinagar and not from Bhopal as desired by him.

The 86-year old patriarch conveyed his displeasure to party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari, who met him on Wednesday night. The two leaders then met Rajnath Singh to convey Advani's views. Modi, meanwhile, met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, apparently to seek his intervention in resolving the issue.

Advani has represented Gandhinagar in the 10th Lok Sabha (1991-96), 12th Lok Sabha (1998-99), 13th Lok Sabha (1999-2004), 14th Lok Sabha (2004-09) and the current 15th Lok Sabha (2009-14).

(With additional information from PTI)