As suspense continued over the BJP’s nominee from Indore constituency, Lok Sabha Speaker and local MP Sumitra Mahajan Tuesday said she never sought poll ticket from the party in the last three decades.
Asked about the delay in announcing her candidature, the eight-time MP from Indore told PTI that BJP leaders might be having “something” on their mind. The BJP has not fielded many of its veterans, including former presidents L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, in the Lok Sabha elections.
There is speculation that Mahajan, who turns 76 on April 12, may also not be renominated.
Advani (91) and Joshi (85) were not renominated from their Lok Sabha seats, Gandhinagar and Kanpur, respectively. Advani has been replaced with BJP chief Amit Shah.
Mahajan, the second woman to be Lok Sabha Speaker, said the BJP has been fielding her from Indore on its own. “I did not seek ticket from the Indore seat in 1989 when I first contested the Lok Sabha elections. The party on its own made me its candidate. I have never demanded my nomination,” Mahajan said.
Mahajan said only the party can say who will contest from Indore, a commercial hub and the largest city in Madhya Pradesh. “Possibly, BJP organisation leaders have something on their mind. I cannot say anything until the BJP organisation speaks out,” she said.
The veteran parliamentarian said she has not talked to any BJP leader and sought to know the reason for delay in announcing the party nominee for Indore. “Such question is not asked in our party because the nominations are decided by the organisation. The BJP organisation would take an appropriate decision on Indore at an appropriate time,” she said.
Mahajan said there is nothing wrong in names of local leaders being discussed in party circles as probable nominees. “It is a good thing and natural. The party should have many alternatives as this proves its strength. This means that the party is having a good number of workers, and if anyone among them is picked, he would win elections,” she said.
Click here for more election news
Mahajan said she would be proud if other leaders are being discussed for the electoral contest, “as I am part of the party”. An election is fought by the party and not by an individual, she said. “The individual just helps. Right now our aim is to form the government again under Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a majority,” she said.
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.
Polling for the seat is scheduled on May 19.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines