Sumitra Mahajan, the Lok Sabha Speaker, has announced that she will not contest the Lok Sabha elections. Mahajan issued a statement on Friday to this effect wondering why there is “indecision” in the party over announcing Lok Sabha candidate from Indore seat.
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”.
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.
The BJP appeared to be in a dilemma over fielding her. There had been reports suggesting that winnability of a candidate might prevail over the 75-year age bar in the BJP while giving tickets for the Lok Sabha elections.“There were speculations and so I decided to end them and free the party to make its choice. I will not contest Lok Sabha elections.
Speculation grew intense that factionalism was at play. BJP was believed to be considering other names. The party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, Indore Mayor and MLA Malini Gaud, another Madhya Pradesh legislator Usha Thakur, Indore Development Authority’s former chairman Shanker Lalwani and former MLA Bhanwar Singh Shekawat are doing the rounds as possible party nominee from the constituency.