Patna, March 26 :
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi failed to persuade senior party leader and four-time Bihar MP Lal Muni Choubey against quitting the party and contest as an independent from the Buxar parliamentary constituency.
“Modi had personally telephoned Choubey late Tuesday night and tried to convince him not to contest as an independent from Buxar. But he failed as Choubey is adamant to file his nomination papers,” said a BJP leader close to Choubey, who was considered close to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
According to BJP leaders, after some central party leaders failed to convince Choubey, Modi spoke to him over telephone for nearly 10 minutes to convince not to contest polls against the official party candidate.
“Choubey told Modi that his decision to contest as an independent was final and there will be no change in his position,” a BJP leader said.
However, BJP state president Mangal Pandey said that he was hopeful that Choubey will not go against the party.
Choubey was upset after he was denied a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha polls.
BJP fielded another leader Ashwini Kumar Chaubey who was health minister in the Nitish Kumar government and hails from Bhagalpur.
Choubey told IANS over telephone that Buxar will witness a fight between the “Asli” (real) BJP candidate and “Nakli” (fake) BJP candidate.
“I have resigned from the BJP and am announcing that I will contest as an independent from Buxar,” Choubey said.
He had made his intention clear last Monday, the day when another senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh filed his nomination from Rajasthan’s Barmer seat as an independent candidate.
Choubey said that he will also campaign against Modi who is contesting from Varanasi.
He said that he was hurt by the way the BJP is treating its stalwarts like Vajpayee, L.K. Advani and Jaswant Singh.
“I cannot tolerate humiliation to Vajpayee, Advani and Jaswant in the party,” he said.
Chaubey was elected for the first time from Buxar parliamentary constituency in 1996. He represented the seat continuously till 2009 when he lost to RJD leader Jagadanand Singh by 2,000 votes.