Former BJP president and Lok Sabha MP Murli Manohar has been asked by the party to not contest the coming general elections, as per a statement by the veteran leader accessed by PTI.
The development in consonance with the BJP’s decision to not field many of its veterans, and comes after it also denied a ticket to its longest-serving chief LK Advani, with current BJP chief Amit Shah to contest from the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat that Advani has held for almost two decades.
Confirming the development, the 85-year-old Murli Manohar Joshi who won from his election to the Lok Sabha from Kanpur in 2014 issued a brief statement about the party’s decision, revealing that it was conveyed to him by BJP general secretary (organisation) Ramlal, a Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) appointee.
Joshi had won the Varanasi seat in 2009, which he later vacated for then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi in 2014, as the latter contested as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate. Joshi currently heads Parliament's Estimates Committee and some of its observations, including on jobs, the GDP and non-performing assets, embarrassed the government, as per PTI.
PTI also quotes BJP citing that they have taken a “principled decision” and the veterans should make way for younger leaders. Both, Joshi and Advani are viewed as founding members of BJP along with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The BJP has also not given tickets to likes of B C Khanduri, Kariya Munda, Kalraj Mishra, Bijoya Chakravarty - all many term MPs and over 80 years of age - besides Advani.
(With PTI inputs)