Joshi links his shifting to changing Advani’s seat
The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) seems to have prevailed over the old guard of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to make way for the new leadership vis-à-vis contesting the Lok Sabha polls go. While all through the day, media circles remained agog with the news of former union minister Murli Manohar Joshi deciding to ‘abide by party decision’ quietly in Madhya Pradesh decks have been cleared for shifting Lal Krishna Advani out of Gujarat.
According to well placed sources, Joshi on the surface may have indicated his desire ‘to abide’ but has also made it clear that he alone should not be singled out for shifting constituency to make way for prime ministerial candidate. The message clearly signals towards shifting Advani from Gandhi Nagar seat in Gujarat to some other seat. Speaking for the first time on the matter Joshi said that he would accept any decision the party’s parliamentary board takes like a ‘disciplined soldier’ and hoped it would neither dent the PM candidate’s prestige nor hurt party’s electoral chances.
In Bhopal, meanwhile, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and the sitting MP from Bhopal Kailash Joshi on Sunday announced virtual retirement from politics. The 84-year-old leader said that he did not wish to contest forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. When asked whether he was asked to vacate the seat for senior BJP leaders like L K Advani or Sushma Swaraj, Joshi said it was for the party’s election committee to decide the candidate. ‘As I am also a member of the BJP’s state election committee, I would put my opinion before the committee,’ Joshi said.
Sources in BJP pointed out that with a vacant seat in hand in Madhya Pradesh, Advani could be persuaded to shift out of Gujarat to let Modi contest the Gandhinagar seat. However, there are indications also that Modi may not want to contest Gandhinagar and Varanasi seat after so much controversy.