Praising Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan for her “dedication” towards work, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that she was the only BJP leader who could admonish him.
Addressing an election rally in Indore, PM Modi said, “As the Lok Sabha speaker, ”Tai” (as Mahajan is popularly known in the constituency) has carried out her duties in a skilfull and controlled way. It is because of this, she has left an indelible impression on the minds of people.”
“All of you know me as prime minister. But perhaps very few people know that in our party (BJP), if there is anybody who can admonish me, it is Tai,” PM Modi said in the presence of Sumitra Mahajan, who was seated on the dais.
“Tai and I have worked in the BJP together. The kind of dedication she has towards work, I assure the people of Indore that in terms of development of the city, none of Tai’s wishes will be left unfulfilled,” the prime minister said.
Sumitra Mahajan, an eight-time MP from Indore, had last month announced that she did not want to contest the 2019 General Elections and appealed to the party to name a candidate from Indore.
In a letter expressing her wish to not contest the polls, she said she had freed the party to make any decision.
The veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader, who turned 76 last month, had said that there had been speculations whether the party would field someone who has crossed the 75-year age bar.
She had, however, maintained that she would continue to work for the BJP and campaign for it.
She is the first woman MP to win a record eight consecutive elections. In 2014, she had defeated her nearest rival, Satyanarayan Patel of the Congress, by a staggering margin of 4,66,901 votes.
The BJP had later announced the candidature of Shankar Lalwani for the Indore Lok Sabha seat.
Lalwani, who was earlier the chairman of the Indore Development Authority (IDA) chairman and president of the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC), is from the Sindhi community and is making his Lok Sabha poll debut.
He will be fighting against Congress’s Pankaj Sanghvi.
Polling for the Indore seat will be held on May 19, in the last phase of parliamentary polls.