L K Advani Thursday thanked the Madhya Pradesh BJP and members of the election committee for proposing his name for Bhopal. But party sources in Bhopal told The Indian Express there had been no such proposal.
The BJP veteran released a brief letter that said, “I am deeply touched by the gesture of my party colleagues.” A senior leader said the list sent by the state election committee to the central panel on March 12 did not recommend any name for Bhopal. “The seat was kept vacant as desired by the leadership,” he said, adding Advani’s name was not in circulation then.
BJP leader Narendra Tomar is on record as saying he was not aware about someone having recommended Advani’s name from the state. Sitting MP Kailash Joshi was the first person to “invite” Advani after announcing he was not interested in contesting any longer. When speculations began, party leaders in MP maintained they expected an outsider because the seat had been kept vacant at Delhi’s instance but not Advani.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, whose closeness to Advani is well known, has not uttered a word about the former deputy prime minister’s candidature from Bhopal since the controversy began.