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‘Modi’fied BJP shows veterans who’s boss

‘Modi’fied BJP shows veterans who’s boss
Highlights

‘Modi’fied BJP shows veterans who’s boss, BJP's Boss, L K Advani, ,Yashwant Sinha. A senior BJP leader confided, "Once in two decades comes an opportunity wherein it can have its own way to restructure the party."

New Delhi: The BJP leadership (read Narendra Modi) is understood to be keen on bidding adieu to all the veterans in the party that included L K Advani, Jaswant Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi,Yashwant Sinha, Kalyan Singh, Lalji Tandon and Kalraj Mishra, besides others. The party is keen on giving them a decent exit by either nominating them to RSor giving them an honourable position elsewhere. It wants to induct fresh faces in the party and give them an opportunity to rise in the party, given the Modi wave in the country.

A senior BJP leader confided, "Once in two decades comes an opportunity wherein it can have its own way to restructure the party."

The process was initiated a month back, when the leadership floated a trial balloon of nominating Advani to the Rajya Sabha. Advani, who was projected as the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate in 2009, had declared at that time that it was his last election. However, this time round, he was again in no mood to retire and insisted that he would contest the Lok Sabha polls. When the party leadership dithered in giving him the ticket from Gandhinagar, he insisted on contesting from Bhopal. The party finally allowed him to contest from Gandhinagar.

Former BJP President Murli Manohar Joshi was indirectly shown the door, when demands started pouring in that Modi should contest from his seat of Varanasi. The party thought that he would pave the way for Modi, himself, but Joshi, like Advani, fought till the last and finally agreed to vacate the seat of Varanasi not before wresting the party ticket from Kanpur.

Similarly, it was perceived that former Defence Minister Jaswant Singh had completed his innings after contesting for the prestigious Vice-President post, when he was defeated by Hamid Ansari. Instead of him, the party was keen to promote his son, Manvendra Singh, who is an MLA from Shiv in Barmer, the constituency from where Jaswant Singh wants to contest for the "last time."

Unfazed by the emotions displayed by the BJP veterans, including former Defence Minister Jaswant Singh, who could not control his tears after being denied the ticket from his native constituency of Barmer,the BJP leadership is looking forward to bring about a generational shift in the party. Singh is likely to file his nomination papers as an Independent on Monday, but this will make no difference to the party.

BJP further rubbed salt in the wound by denying ticket to Haren Pathak, a seven-time MP from Ahmedabad East and close to Advani.

Like Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Jaswant Singh, there are several leaders in the BJP, who refuse to quit politics, unlike former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, whose son Jayant Sinha has been given the ticket from Hazaribagh to contest. Leaders from Uttar Pradesh, Kalraj Mishra is contesting from Deoria, while Lalji Tandon, who contested from Lucknow last time, finally agreed to let Rajnath Singh contest from his seat, after throwing a lot of tantrums. Former UP Chief Minister Kalyan Singh has paved the way for his son Rajbir Singh, who has been given a ticket from Etah.

Except for Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, who continue to remain prominent faces of the BJP, besides Modi and Rajnath Singh, the BJP was looking to induct fresh blood into the party, grabbing the golden opportunity of rejuvenating the party. The old horses in the party, however, are not obliging.

Meanwhile, Shiva Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray observed that in party mouthpiece 'Saamana' that "There is talk that a 'Modi era' has started in BJP, but the 'Advani era' has not yet ended in the country's politics. He has achieved this pinnacle of success by his struggles and sacrifices in public life."

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