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Sumitra Mahajan says won’t contest Lok Sabha elections, says BJP free to choose candidate

Sumitra Mahajan will turn 76 this month — crossing the red line of 75 drawn by the BJP for leaders to be in active politics but followed selectively. The BJP has not fielded many of its veterans, including former presidents L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, in the Lok Sabha elections.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 5, 2019 6:48:39 pm
Eight-time Indore MP Sumitra Mahajan says won't contest Lok Sabha elections The BJP is yet to take a call on the constituency that goes to polls on May 19, the last phase of voting. Sumitra Mahajan has won eight times on the trot from Indore.

Amid speculation on her candidature from the Indore constituency, outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahan said Friday she won’t contest the elections.

Mahajan wrote an open letter questioning the delay over the announcement of a candidate for the prestigious seat she has won since 1989. “I thought the party was hesitant so I told them to take a decision,’’ she told The Indian Express.

“I am not a political person. I had made my stand clear to the party,’’ she replied when asked if she was ready to contest but was denied the ticket. She said she knew the party was applying ‘age criterion’ but was hesitating (to name another candidate in her place). “There is nothing more to it,’’ she said when asked if she was hurt.

The BJP is yet to take a call on the constituency that goes to polls on May 19, the last phase of voting. Mahajan has won eight times on the trot from Indore. In 2014, she had won by 4.66 lakh votes.

Mahajan will turn 76 this month — crossing the red line of 75 drawn by the BJP for leaders to be in active politics but followed selectively. The BJP has not fielded many of its veterans, including former presidents L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, in the Lok Sabha elections.

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Earlier, she skipped an event in Indore where the BJP had made arrangements for showcasing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ Delhi event. She is also among the few senior BJP leaders to have not prefixed Chowkidar to their names on Twitter.

Last month, she said at a party meeting, “It will be either me or Narendra Modi from Indore.” When asked to clarify, she claimed it was meant to be a joke but did not deny the statement.

Names of Indore Mayor and MLA Malini Gaud, another legislator Usha Thakur, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, former MLA Bhanwar Singh Shekawat and Indore Development Authority’s former chairman Shanker Lalwani are doing the rounds as possible candidates from the constituency.

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