Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Gujarat’s Surat constituency following demands from the BJP’s state unit, according to sources.
In the 2014 general elections, PM Modi had won from Vadodara and Varanasi – his parliamentary constituency – and chose to retain the latter. For the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, PM Modi's candidature from Varanasi has already been announced.
This time, state BJP leaders have requested PM Modi to contest from Gujarat to boost party workers’ morale, especially in the aftermath of the 2017 Assembly elections when the Congress managed to restrict the BJP to 99 seats and increased its own tally by 16 seats to 77 in the 182-member Legislative Assembly.
The BJP is yet to declare its candidate from Surat. BJP's Ranjanben Dhananjay Bhatt, who won from Vadodra after Modi vacated it, is seeking re-election from the seat.
Gujarat will vote in single phase on April 23. The last date of filing nominations is April 4.
Earlier, there was speculation of PM Modi contesting from a second Lok Sabha seat in Odisha’s Puri. However, the buzz ended with the BJP announcing the name of its spokesperson Sambit Patra from the temple town.
Similarly, after the Sabarimala surge in Kerala, as the BJP was trying hard to make its presence felt in the state, there was buzz that Modi could be fielded from Pathanamthitta seat, but the party on Saturday fielded K Surendran from there.
The Congress on Sunday announced that party chief Rahul Gandhi will contest from Kerala's Wayanad. The party's Kerala unit had been requesting him to contest from the Wayanad seat, which has been crucial for the Congress.