New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah during BJP National Executive meeting, in New Delhi, Sunday, Sept 9, 2018. (Twitter Photo via PTI)   
(PTI9_9_2018_000146B)
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah during BJP National Executive meeting, in New Delhi, Sunday, Sept 9, 2018. (Twitter Photo via PTI) (PTI9_9_2018_000146B)

New Delhi: PM Modi is known to send out subtle messages. Possibly, there is one such message in the BJP first list. By announcing only one name from Gujarat – that of Amit Shah – and that too as replacement for L K Advani — the signal is that PM Modi is anointing Shah as his political heir.

For veteran Advani – who has been politically marginalised over the years and is currently languishing in the ‘margdarshak mandal’ – there could be no greater slight because he had been winning the Gandhinagar seat since 1998. The speculation was that his son Jayant may be nominated instead, but that was not to be.

Incidentally, Advani had first contested from Gandhinagar in 1991 on the suggestion of Narendra Modi after he had completed his nationwide rath yatra. Modi had even accompanied Advani when he filed his nomination papers. To that extent, the wheel has turned a full circle: Advani has been forced to retire and Modi has rewarded Amit Shah by giving him the plum Gandhinagar seat.

This would be Shah’s debut in a Lok Sabha election. Last week, sources in the BJP said, a senior leader from the RSS had visited Advani at his residence and informed him that the party would not be asking him to contest polls, officially citing the 91-year-old’s age.

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