New Delhi: Veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as the party replaced him with Uttar Pradesh minister and local Brahmin face Satyadev Pachauri in Kanpur.
The development comes just days after LK Advani, another old warhorse of the saffron party, was dropped from the candidate list. He was replaced with BJP chief Amit Shah in Gandhinagar.
In the tenth list of candidates for 29 seats in Uttar Pradesh and 10 in West Bengal, the BJP also announced that union minister Maneka Gandhi and her MP son Varun Gandhi have swapped their seats. While Maneka Gandhi will contest from Sultanpur, Varun Gandhi has been given a ticket from Pilibhit.
BJP general secretary Arun Singh announced that Union minister Manoj Sinha has been fielded from Ghazipur, a seat he had won in 2014, and UP government ministers Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Satyadev Pachauri from prestigious Allahabad and Kanpur seats respectively.
Actor politician Jaya Prada was fielded from Rampur hours after she joined the party Tuesday. UP BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey has been repeated from Chandauli, Singh said.
Joshi, 85, had won from Kanpur in 2014 but was told by the party leadership that he would not be fielded in the coming elections. The party has not given the ticket to veterans like BC Khanduri and Kalraj Mishra among others.
In a statement to CNN-News18, Joshi said he was asked by party general secretary Ramlal to not contest the elections. In the 2014 election, Joshi had vacated his Varanasi seat for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then won Kanpur by a record margin, securing 57% of the votes.
Joshi’s message on Monday, addressed to voters in his constituency, read: “Dear voters of Kanpur, Shri Ramlal General Secretary (Org), Bharatiya Janata Party conveyed to me today that I should not contest the ensuing parliamentary election from Kanpur and elsewhere.”
Joshi, a former union minister and BJP president, has also not been included in the list of campaigners in Uttar Pradesh.
After LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi Benched by BJP; Maneka Gandhi and Varun Swap Seats – News18