New Delhi: With veterans such as L K Advani and B C Khanduri being dropped from their Lok Sabha seats by the BJP, it seems that the party may have decided to ease out several of its old guards from electoral politics after keeping them out of government by introducing an age bar of 75 years.
In anticipation of the party leadership’s move, senior leaders like Kalraj Mishra and Bhagat Singh Koshyari had announced their unwillingness to contest the coming Lok Sabha polls. The fate of another party veteran, Murli Manohar Joshi, who had won from Kanpur in 2014, remains uncertain as the party did not announce its candidate from the seat in the first list which was released on Thursday.
However, party sources said it is unlikely now that Joshi will be fielded in the general election. The 91-year-old Advani, the longest serving BJP president who enjoyed the final say in organisational affairs for decades, had been winning from Gandhinagar seat in Gujarat since 1998.
BJP president Amit Shah, who once managed election affairs of Advani from Gandhinagar, will contest from the seat. The BJP veteran was first elected to Parliament as a Rajya Sabha member in 1970 and has been the most experienced parliamentarian. He, along with Joshi, was moved out of the BJP’s highest decision-making body, Parliamentary Board, in 2014 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the party to victory and Shah was made its president. Both veterans were made members of ‘Margdarshak Mandal’ (group of mentors), a body which has never met.