Former deputy prime minister and BJP veteran LK Advani is reported to be “extremely upset” over the way in which his name was dropped from the BJP list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
“Not getting to be in Lok Sabha is not the issue, but the manner in which the denial was done was disrespectful… No big leader contacted him,” a source close to the leader was quoted as saying by NDTV.
The BJP had on Thursday replaced him with party president Amit Shah in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency while announcing the first list of 184 candidates for the Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
The Gandhinagar seat is currently held by LK Advani who has been winning the seat consecutively for six terms from 1998 but now current party chief Amit Shah will be making his Lok Sabha debut from here.
There has been no official word from the party or the 91-year-old leader, who was its longest serving president, on his name not finding a place among the BJP’s candidates for the poll.
A number of veteran leaders, including Shanta Kumar, BC Khanduri and Kariya Munda- all in their 80s- have not been fielded by the BJP in the polls, seen as part of its strategy under PM Modi and Amit Shah to ease them out and groom younger leaders in their place.
Fate of verteran leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who had won from Kanpur in 2014, remains uncertain as the party is yet to announce its candidate from the seat.
LK Advani along with Murli Manohar 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.
Meanwhile, the Congress party has been quick in its reaction over Advani’s exclusion from the candidates’ list. “First Shri Lal Krishna Advani was forcefully sent to ‘Marg Darshak Mandal and now his parliamentary constituency has been snatched. When Modi Ji does not respect elders, then why will he respect the people’s trust? Get rid of BJP, save the country,” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.