BJP mulls over fielding Advani, Joshi in RS poll

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to face an internal turmoil again given a discussion among top leaders on Friday to nominate the party’s first generation leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi to the Rajya Sabha to pave way for young turks, a plan initiated by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) a few years ago.

The party leaders, however, insist that any decision on this move will be taken with the consent of veteran leaders. The BJP’s central election committee, headed by party president the Rajnath Singh, met on Friday evening to clear the first list of seven candidates to be fielded for the February 7 Upper House biennial elections. Modi had also participated in the meeting. 

The top leaders had also separately discussed the idea of bringing Advani, who represents Gandhi Nagar parliamentary seat in Lok Sabha, and Joshi, a sitting MP from Varanasi, to the Rajya Sabha to exploit his experience and wisdom at a time when the party is witnessing transition of power to the second generation – led by prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. 

Both leaders have not so far indicated their willingness to give up active electoral politics. A leader from Advani camp said the party has not officially communicated to the former deputy prime minister and neither was it discussed at the central election committee or parliamentary board. He insisted Advani alone will decide whether to contest Lok Sabha elections or take up upper house membership.

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