Lok Sabha polls: After LK Advani, BJP drops Murli Manohar Joshi also

The BJP on Tuesday released its tenth list of candidates for Lok Sabha elections.

New Delhi: Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, a Bharatiya Janata Party veteran and a former party president, has been told by the party leadership that he will not be contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. Dr Joshi is a sitting MP from Kanpur.

The BJP on Tuesday released its tenth list of candidates for Lok Sabha elections, declaring 29 nominees for Uttar Pradesh and 10 for West Bengal, and it nominated Satyadev Pachauri to contest from Kanpur.

Sources said that though Dr Joshi was keen to contest elections, poll managers of the saffron party were not in favour as the chances of the Congress’ candidate, former Union minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, winning from Kanpur this time look stronger.

Dr Joshi, who had vacated the Varanasi parliamentary seat for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and contested from Kanpur instead in 2014, had defeated Mr Jaiswal by more than two lakh votes. Miffed with the decision to not field him, and unhappy with the manner in which the party’s central leadership conveyed the decision to him, Dr Joshi wrote an open letter to Kanpur voters informing them he has been told by party general secretary (organisation) Ramlal that he “should not contest the ensuing parliamentary election from Kanpur and elsewhere.”

Dr Joshi is the second party veteran and member of the party’s “Margdarshak Mandal”, after Mr L.K. Advani, who has been denied a ticket this time. The “Margdarshak Mandal” was formed after the BJP came to power at the Centre and the party leadership placed an unofficial age bar of 75 years for organisational posts to promote second-generation leaders.

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