MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena Saturday termed L K Advani as the "tallest leader" of the BJP irrespective of his poll presence, two days after Amit Shah was nominated from Gandhinagar, a seat represented by the BJP patriarch.
In an editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Sena said Shah replacing Advani in Gandhinagar politically translated to the 'Bhishmacharya' of Indian politics being "forced" to retire.
Advani, 91, had served as Union home minister and deputy prime minister. He won the Gandhinagar seat six times.
"Lal Krishna Advani is known as the 'Bhishmacharya' of Indian politics, but his name does not feature in the list of BJP's candidates for Lok Sabha polls, which is not surprising," the edit said, adding, the Sena said the development underlined that the BJP's Advani era has come to an end.
"Advani has been elected from Gujarat's Gandhinagar constituency six times. Now, Amit Shah will be contesting from that seat. This simply means Advani has been forced to retire," the editorial said.
Marking a generational shift in the BJP, the party recently announced candidature of Shah, who will be contesting his debut parliamentary election, from Gandhinagar.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP to a massive victory in 2014 and Shah was made the party president, Advani was made a member of Margdarshak Mandal (a group of mentors). The Sena said, "Advani was one of the founding members of the BJP, who along with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee steered the rath of the party ahead.
"But today, Modi and Shah have taken the place of them (Vajpayee and Advani). An environment has already been created in the party to ensure that seniors do not get any responsibility this time," it stated.
The Sena further said Advani has played a "long innings" in politics and would remain the "tallest leader" of the BJP.
(With PTI inputs)