K G Suresh in New Delhi
The Bharatiya Janata Party said it would not raise the Godhra issue in the Gujarat election as long as the Congress does not rake it up.
BJP treasurer Ramdas Aggarwal, who is in charge of Gujarat, said it was the turn of the Congress to make a similar commitment and ensure that the atmosphere is not vitiated during the election.
He said the Congress has already accepted defeat by deciding not to field its state unit president Shankersinh Vaghela.
The Congress had criticised the shifting of caretaker Chief Minister Narendra Modi's constituency on Tuesday, saying that it showed how jittery the BJP is about the polls.
Aggarwal said Rajkot-II in Saurashtra, from where Modi contested his maiden election, belonged to veteran leader Vajubhai Vala and had to be returned to him on 'moral grounds'. Hence, Modi shifted his constituency.
He attributed the non-inclusion of former minister of state for revenue and Modi detractor Haren Pandya in the two lists of party nominees released so far to opposition from party ranks in his own Ellis Bridge constituency.
He said former chief minister Keshubhai Patel will not contest the polls. Denying any differences within the party on the leadership issue, he said, "The party is united. There is no leadership clash. Modi is the leader and will be elected the chief minister by the legislators once the results come."
Asked how many seats the BJP expected to win, Aggarwal said, "It is too early to say. Let the Congress list also come. Only then we would be able to make a comparison. Pre-poll surveys, however, have given us a good lead."
On the Samajwadi Party's decision to field candidates in 120 constituencies, he said it will damage the Congress. He, however, said there was "a clear polarisation in the state" and the "battle would be between the BJP and the Congress".
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