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PM Narendra Modi Wants Advani to Contest Elections in 2019, Says Report

The report claims Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met 90-year-old Advani at his home at Prithviraj Road in Delhi. BJP President Amit Shah too has met the nonagenarian leader with the proposal.


Updated:June 5, 2018, 4:21 PM IST

New Delhi: In a distinct departure from the age-rule set by the BJP for contesting elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants veteran party leader LK Advani to contest Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

According to a report in Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, other veterans like Murli Manohar Joshi might also be fielded by the BJP.

Advani contested and won the last LS elections from Gandhinagar in Gujarat but has been marginalised within the party ever since. He along with MM Joshi did not find a place in BJP’s highest decision-making body — the Parliamentary Board. Party President Amit Shah instead created a five-member advisory body — Marg Darshak Mandal — comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Shah himself and the two leaders Joshi and Advani. The Marg Darshak Mandal has not had a single meeting since its inception.

The Anandabazaar Patrika story claims Modi recently met 90-year-old Advani at his home at Prithviraj Road in Delhi. BJP President Amit Shah too has met the nonagenarian leader with the proposal.

The recent developments with the BJP coincide with some allies leaving the NDA ahead of the elections (TDP) and some others asserting themselves for a larger say in running the government and seat sharing.

Both Shiv Sena and JD(U) in Bihar have made their discomfort clear in the last one month.

The change in BJP’s position on veteran leaders is being seen as a move giving weightage to winability of the candidates than their age.

In the Karnataka elections last month, the BJP relaxed the age bar for its CM candidate BS Yeddyurappa.

BJP’s reported proposal to the party veterans comes at the time of attempts by the opposition to cobble together a nation-wide alliance against the NDA and a string of bypoll defeats the joint opposition has recently inflicted on the ruling party.

The opposition has often accused the BJP and its top leaders of ignoring and marginalising party veterans in the last four years of the NDA rule.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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