Amid reports of differences in the Bharatiya Janata Party over giving tickets to top leaders, sitting Lucknow MP Lalji Tondon on Monday said he was ready to leave his seat for party's PM candidate Narendra Modi but appeared reluctant to extend the same favour to Rajnath Singh.
"Contesting election is not the aim of my life. If Modi, whose name came to me from media, contests from here I will do whatever I can to ensure his victory as I did for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee", Tondon told PTI.
He, however, clarified that till now he had not got any proposal from the party on someone other's names.
Asked specifically about party president Rajnath Singh's name from Lucknow seat, Tondon said that he came to know about it from the media only.
"I have never tried (for ticket) from any other place. Everyone knows I have done a lot for the state. From a normal worker of Sangh (RSS), corporator, MLA, I now represent a Lok Sabha seat. I never said in the party that I want to contest from anywhere else", he said.
"There is no controversy on this seat till now... I am not affected by the media news. I will follow party's decision," Tondon added.
The controversy over the Lucknow seat comes close on the heels of differences in the party over Varanasi seat.
Senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi is believed to be unhappy over moves to field Modi from Varanasi. Some sections of the party are keen that Modi should contest from Varanasi but Joshi is asserting his right over his candidature from the constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Joshi, who is believed to have raised the issue at the meeting of BJP’s Election Committee meeting, said a decision on who will contest will be taken by the Parliamentary Board which will meet on Thursday.