New Delhi: As the row within BJP over selection of seats for Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh escalated, the party president on Monday tried to steer clear of the issue, saying the Central Election Committee will take the final decision.
Senior leaders Murli Manohar Joshi and Lalji Tandon are reportedly unhappy over suggestions that they may have to make way for Modi and Singh in Varanasi and Lucknow respectively. Joshi had on Sunday said that he will abide by the party's decision like a "disciplined" soldier.
"I will stress that a decision even about me will be taken by the CEC. No person can decide on the issue of the selection of candidates. I won't be able to say anything on this," Singh told reporters today.
Joshi, who had won from Varanasi in 2009, had said yesterday that CEC would take a decision which will not harm the prestige of the party or its prime ministerial candidate.
It was seen by many as his reluctance to vacate the seat where a strong section of party wants Modi to be fielded.
Tandon had said he would be happy to leave Lucknow constituency for Modi, adding that he was not aware about any move to field Singh from the UP capital. "I feel bad about reports that Singh will fight from here when I have no idea about this," he had said.
Senior UP BJP leader Kalraj Mishra admitted that there have been discussions about these seats but denied any controversy in the party over it.
"There have been talks about who should be fielded from where to maximise our chances of winning and also strike a balance. We have been discussing whose candidature can influence the surrounding region in favour of party," he said in an apparent hint about possibility of Modi contesting from Varanasi.