KANPUR: Curtains came down on the career of BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi, with the party replacing him as its candidate for Kanpur Lok Sabha seat with Uttar Pradesh minister Satyadev Pachuri.
The BJP’s 10th list of candidates has also brought down the curtains on the Atal-Advani-Joshi era — the troika had led the saffron party for almost three decades since 1980.
Ahead of the BJP releasing its list, 85-year-old Joshi penned an open letter to supporters in his constituency stating that the party leadership had advised him not to contest and instead pave way for the new generation.
The BJP had deputed its organisational secretary Ram Lal to convey the decision of the party’s parliamentary board to the veterans that they would not be re-nominated in the elections.
“Dear voters of Kanpur, Shri Ramlal, General Secretary (Org), Bharatiya Janata Party conveyed to me today that I should not contest the ensuing parliamentary election from Kanpur and elsewhere,” Joshi wrote.
Apart from him, senior leaders L K Advani, BC Khanduri, Kalraj Mishra, Shanta Kumar, Karia Munda and Hukum Dev Narayan Yadav have been made to withdraw from electoral politics by the BJP. All these leaders are past 80 years of age.
The party is yet to take a call on Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who has left the decision on her fate to the party.
She is 76 and is seen as a formidable candidate from the Indore seat in Madhya Pradesh.
Joshi had been elected to the Lok Sabha from Varanasi in 2009, but vacated the seat for Narendra Modi in 2014 and instead contested and won from Kanpur.
Joshi, who was the chairman of parliament’s Estimates Committee, and some of its observations, including on jobs, the GDP and non-performing assets, had seemingly caused huge embarrassment to the government.
One report had questioned the state of defence preparedness.