Murli Manohar Joshi not to contest LS polls


New Delhi: The present leadership of the saffron party has asked its former party chief Murli Manohar Joshi not to contest the ensuing general election.

This decision is believed to be taken in line with principle of not fielding its veterans, including founding member and longest serving chief L K Advani, in the polls.

Reports said Joshi’s office has confirmed the latest development. It said Joshi has issued a brief statement for voters in Kanpur, from where the 85-year-old leader had won in 2014.

The BJP general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal, a Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) appointee, had conveyed Joshi the party leadership’s decision that he should not be contesting the elections.

Joshi had earlier vacated the Varanasi seat for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014.

It was not known if the former Union minister, who along with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani, was seen as BJP’s face for more than two decades, will reconcile to the decision or not.

BJP sources said the party has taken a “principled decision” that veterans should make the way for younger leaders.

The saffron part has not given tickets to veterans like B C Khanduri, Kariya Munda, Kalraj Mishra, Bijoya Chakravarty. They are all over 80 years of age.

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