Putting an end to the speculations, outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker and eight-time MP from Indore, Sumitra Mahajan on Friday announced that she will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. "There were speculations and so I decided to end them and free the party to make its choice. I will not contest Lok Sabha elections," news agency PTI quoted her as saying.
The BJP had an undeclared rule of not offering any ministerial post to its MPs above the age of 75 with many in the saffron party advocating for not giving tickets to those who crossed the age bar. Mahajan will turn 76 next week and there were speculations that the BJP will not field her from Indore given her age.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mahajan had said that the saffron party was fielding her from Indore on its own and that she hadn't sought ticket from the constituency for last three decades.
"I did not seek ticket from the Indore seat in 1989 when I first contested the Lok Sabha elections. The party on its own made me its candidate. I have never demanded my nomination," Mahajan said.
When asked about the delay in announcing the candidate for Indore, industrial hub the largest city of Madhya Pradesh, the BJP leader said, "Possibly, BJP organisation leaders have something on their mind. I cannot say anything until the BJP organisation speaks out."
The BJP has not fielded many of its veteran leaders, including former presidents LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, in the Lok Sabha elections. Advani (91) and Joshi (85) were not renominated from their Lok Sabha seats, Gandhinagar and Kanpur, respectively. Advani has been replaced with BJP chief Amit Shah.
(With agency inputs)