In a U turn from his earlier position to not contest upcoming Gujarat polls, octogenarian BJP MLA Narottam Patel Thursday cited party president Amit Shah’s statement on age bar to express his desire to jump in the fray again.
Patel (81), who currently represents Udhna seat in Surat, had announced in April this year that he would not contest the assembly polls to make way for the younger people.
He had won the assembly polls for five consecutive terms. However, in a volte face, Patel cited Shah’s recent remarks that the BJP did not have any rule or tradition barring leaders above 75 to contest polls.
“It is true that I announced in April that I will not contest polls. I took that decision because my party had said
that it is desirable for the leaders to refrain from contesting polls after they turn 75,” the former minister told reporters in Surat.
The BJP veteran said former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, who resigned last year, had also indicated
that she was stepping down due to the age rule.
“However, our national president Amit Shah announced in Bhopal last month that leaders who are above 75 can also
fight polls. He had made it clear that there is no age bar rule. This reminded me that I am still young,” Patel said.
Shah had said the BJP did not set any rule disallowing its members to contest elections after they turn 75.
“There is no rule or tradition in the BJP to forbid leaders to contest polls after they attain the age of 75,” Shah had said in Bhopal.