Indore: A day after BJP president Amit Shah said the party had decided not to give tickets to candidates above 75 years of age, Sumitra Mahajan, who turns 76 next week, wrote a letter to the party leadership stating that she is not inclined to contest anymore.
In the letter, Sumitra has urged the BJP leadership not to be in a state of “asamjas” (indecisiveness) in taking a decision on the Indore seat, which she had won eight times in a row. Between the lines, the message to the party leadership is that Sumitra is done waiting for a ticket for the Indore seat. She told reporters last week she would not demand a ticket; she never had in the last three decades.
“I did not seek a ticket from Indore in 1989 when I first contested. The party made me its candidate on its own. I have never demanded a nomination,” Mahajan had said. In her letter, she has divulged that she had discussions with senior party leaders. ‘‘But it looks like they are still in a dilemma.
That is why I announced that I don’t want to contest anymore,” the letter states. Talking to the media persons later, Mahajan also said that by opting out she had ‘‘freed the party from its worries.’’ ‘Now, I request the party not to think what Tai will feel. The party gave me a lot and I will remain a party worker forever,” she added.
Regarding the timing of her letter, she said since it is the advent of the Hindu New Year on April 6, a decision can be easily taken by the party’s central election committee. “Whosoever gets ticket, we all will fight with full energy,” she stated. When Mahajan had defeated Congress candidate Prakash Chandra Sethi in 1989, he had retired from active politics saying he had given “Indore’s key” to the new MP.
Last month, Mahajan had stated that she had not found any suitable candidate for “Indore’s key,” so she will keep it with her. To a query on Friday, she said that the key will be passed on to BJP candidate when the name is announced. Mahajan sidestepped a query on the possibility of her contesting again.
“The question does not arise now,” she said. When it was pointed out that her opponents feel that it is pressure tactics, Mahajan said that opponents are free to think whatever they like. After Mahajan’s letter went public, ticket aspirants have become proactive.