Murli Manohar Joshi, the BJP veteran, is miffed. Ever since the BJP started brainstorming over the list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabah elections, there was strong buzz that the party seniors are likely to be sidelined. The speculation turned into a reality after BJP president Amit Shah replaced party patriarch LK Advani from the prestigious Gandhinagar seat. Now, the speculations are rife that the party is likely to deny ticket to Murli Manohar Joshi. In a unsigned message to the voters of Kanpur, Joshi has reportedly said that, “Shri Ramlal General Secretary (Organisation) BJP conveyed to me today that I should not contest the ensuing parliamentary election from Kanpur and elsewhere.”
An HT report said that the message by the BJP veteran is genuine. It should be noted that Joshi’s name was missing in the list of BJP’s star campaigners, which was released on Tuesday. The BJP’s list of star campaigners includes PM Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Uma Bharti feature on the list. Names of LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are missing from the list 40 star campaigners.
This is not the first time that the rift between Joshi and BJP’s top leadership has come out in open. Earlier in 2014, Joshi had reportedly said that there was no ‘Modi wave’ in the country., However, he later denied saying such things. "There is nothing like differences between me and (Narendra) Modi. He is the party's most popular leader and he represents the party. "I said people are frustrated with the misrule of the Congress-led UPA and Modi is the natural leader to reflect the feeling of the people against the government," he had said in April, 2014.
Interestingly, it was Joshi only who in the 2014 election, vacated his Varanasi seat for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then won Kanpur by a record margin, securing 57% of the votes.
Before this, there were reports that former deputy prime minister and BJP patriarch LK Advani is "extremely upset" about the way he was dropped from the BJP's Lok Sabha seat ahead of next month's General Elections 2019. "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 BJP veteran told NDTV.
Veterans such as LK Advani, BC Khanduri, Hukumdeo Yadav and Karia Munda being dropped from their Lok Sabha seats, it seems that the BJP may have decided to ease out several of its old guards from electoral politics after keeping them out of government by introducing an age bar of 75 years.