New Delhi: The BJP on Friday said that the views expressed by its veteran leader L K Advani in his blog have always been its policy, even as it asserted that its stand on the issue of not giving election tickets to leaders above 75 years is "very clear".
"What Advani ji has said has been the BJP's clear policy. We never considered (rivals) anti-nationals. When Venkaiya ji, Rajnath ji and Advani ji were (party) president, this statement was given time and again," senior party leader Arun Jaitley told reporters. He was referring to Advani's statement that the BJP never considered those who disagreed with it politically as "anti-national" or "enemies" but only as adversaries. The party has been committed to freedom of choice of every citizen at personal as well as political level, he had added. His remarks posted in a blog were construed by many political watchers as a veiled criticism of the party leadership which has often likened its rivals to enemy like Pakistan and accused them of abetting anti-national elements.
To a question about Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan not contesting polls, Jaitley said the party's decision on the issue is very clear, an indication of its stand that it will not give tickets to those above 75 years of age. Mahajan, an eight-term BJP MP from Indore, Friday opted out of contesting the general elections saying she has freed the party to make its choice. BJP president Amit Shah had said in an interview that that it was his party's decision not to give Lok Sabha poll tickets to those above 75 years of age, leading to the likes of Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and many others being replaced with younger faces.
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