Sunday, November 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Pandya refuses RS seat
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 23
Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party today released its fourth list, taking the number of party candidates for the next month’s Gujarat Assembly elections to 178, suspense continued over the candidature of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s detractor Haren Pandya.

With the announcement of today’s list, the BJP has announced the candidates of all but four of the 182 constituencies which includes Mr Pandya’s constituency of Ellisbridge. Ellisbridge has been won by Mr Pandya three time with his victory margin increasing each time.

Announcing the list, party General Secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani would launch the BJP campaign in the state from November 30.

Party General Secretary Arun Jaitley, who had gone to Gandhinagar, has returned empty handed as Mr Pandya has refused the offer for a seat in the Rajya Sabha by the party high command.

Mr Jaitley will go to Gandhinagar again tomorrow to persuade the Chief Minister to drop his resistance to Mr Pandya’s candidature.

Sources said Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani had impressed upon his party colleagues that Mr Modi should not stand on false prestige as the party’s victory in the Assembly elections was more significant than differences between two party colleagues.

It is understood that Mr Pandya would be given the party nomination at the eleventh hour.


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