The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday continued with its efforts to placate L K Advani, who is sulking over the party's decision to field him from Gandhinagar despite his wish to contest from Bhopal, with senior leaders, including Narendra Modi, meeting him.
Modi, the party's prime ministerial candidate, went to the senior leader's residence and was there for about half-an-hour, apparently to persuade him to contest from Gandhinagar, the seat that Advani has represented five times in Lok Sabha.
Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Sushma Swaraj, too, met Advani. Swaraj had also met him along with Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday after the party announced Advani's candidature from Gandhinagar.
Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday played down reports of differences in the party over the matter and said that the issue would be settled "peacefully and calmly".
"There are no differences. There is nothing. If there are talks, it will be settled internally... peacefully and calmly," she told reporters at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.
She did not comment when asked if the veteran leader wanted to contest from Bhopal and not Gandhinagar, but said that the party had made the announcement and senior leaders were talking to Advani.
"There is no need to read too much into it," she said. Though it is not clear as to what transpired at the meetings of party leaders with Advani, sources said he is adamant on contesting from Bhopal.
Advani has said that he be given a chance to select a seat of his choice just as other top BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Modi had done.
The 86-year old party stalwart had conveyed his displeasure to Swaraj and Gadkari when they met him last night. The duo had then met BJP president Rajnath Singh to apprise him of Advani's views.
Modi had met Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat, apparently to seek his intervention in resolving the issue.
Image: Narendra Modi met L K Advani at this residence after the latter reportedly refused to run from Gandhinagar