Murli Manohar Joshi and Lal Krishna Advani (File Photo)
BJP president Amit Shah on Monday met party veterans Murli Manohar Joshi and L K Advani, hours after launch of party poll manifesto. The meeting came amid reports that the two party’s founding members have been upset on being benched and sidelined ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
According to reports, the meeting was aimed at placating the sulking party patriarchs amid the opposition attacking Prime Minister Narendra for “insulting his gurus”. Sources said Shah met them to explain the reason of fielding them for their traditional Lok Sabha seats.
Advani has been replaced by party president Amit Shah in the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat, a seat from where the former has been elected six times since 1991.
In a similar move, the party also dropped Murli Manohar Joshi, fielding local Brahmin face Satyadev Pachauri instead from Kanpur. He issued a public message to his constituency that he had been told by the party he would not contest from Kanpur or anywhere in the election.
On the other hand, Advani, after a long silence following the party’s decision to drop him, wrote a blog in which he said that his party never regarded those who disagreed with it politically as "anti-nationals" or "enemies" but only as adversaries.
The remarks came at a time when top BJP leaders have used anti-national barbs against political rivals on the issue of national security.
Defending its move to drop senior leaders aged above 75 years, BJP leaders said the party has taken a "principled decision" that veterans should make the way for younger leaders.
The BJP has also not given tickets to likes of Shanta Kumar, B C Khanduri, Kariya Munda, Kalraj Mishra, Bijoya Chakravarty - all many term MPs and over 80 years of age - besides Advani (91) and Joshi (85).