Indian Elections

LS Speaker withdraws candidature

Our Correspondent

6 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

New Delhi: Sumitra Mahajan, the outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker, is the latest BJP veteran, withdrawn her candidature from upcoming Indian national elections.

Making her resentment clear in a letter released by her office on Friday, the senior parliamentarian from Madhya Pradesh said she had “freed her party” from a difficult choice.

While announcing candidates for Madhya Pradesh, the BJP had refrained from naming anyone from Indore, a city in west-central India, which had left its long-time representative Sumitra Mahajan in suspense for weeks.

“BJP has not declared its candidate from Indore. Why this state of indecision? Maybe the party is hesitating. Even though I had a discussion with the leadership and left the decision to them. It seems they still have reservations, so I declare that I will not contest Lok Sabha elections, so party is free to decide, without any hesitation,” Sumitra Mahajan wrote in her statement.

The eighth time lawmaker told reporters she would not ask; she never had in three decades. “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,” Sumitra Mahajan said.

She joins the club of BJP seniors who are not contesting this election - LK Advani, 91, and Murli Manohar Joshi, 85, Karaj Mishra, 77, and BC Khanduri, 84.

BJP president Amit Shah will contest from Advani’s seat Gandhinagar in Gujarat. Joshi and the others were told by party general secretary Ram Lal that they would not contest.

Last month, Joshi had put out a note to voters of his Kanpur constituency that he had been told by the BJP he should not contest the election from Kanpur or anywhere.

On Thursday night, veteran BJP Leader L K Advani issued a statement criticising present leadership and made a caustic remark about those leaders who labelled opposition leaders as anti-national.

He said priority should be firstly to nation and then to party, he opined.