Ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2019, the BJP has lifted the age-bar brought out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after his winning in 2014 polls, reportedly to avoid senior leaders like L K Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha, Shantha Kumar and other from taking up any office is lifted now. The party has conveyed to senior leaders, that there will be no age-bar to contest elections.
It may be recalled that after making them to be away from all key decision making bodies like Union Cabinet and Parliamentary Board, a `‘Marg Darshak Mandal’ was formed with them, which didn’t met till now, during last five years. Leaders like Najma Heptulla and Kalraj Mishra were removed from the union cabinet, after they crossed the age of 75 years.
However, the only exception given to Karnataka’s former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, who was made as the state president and also became BJP’s Chief Minister candidate in last year’s assembly polls.
As BJP is sensing steep fall in popularity of Modi, now it seems in hurry to give a message to the cadre, the entire party is one and decided to give chance for veterans again to contest in the coming polls. This decision was taken at party’s parliamentary board, two days ago, though no official announcement was made.
However, party indicating that the age bar of 75 would continue to hold for party and government positions. With this result, party sources indicated that besides Advani (91) and Murli Manohar Joshi (84) party veterans like Shanta Kumar (85), Kalraj Mishra (77) and Bhagat Singh Koshyari (77) are also likely to be fielded in the Lok Sabha polls.
But, party sources said that when party chief Amit Shah met Advani last month and requested him to contest again from Gandhi Nagar in Gujarat, he had refused. Even he was said to be not responsive when offer was made for his son or daughter to contest from the same seat.