Shah meets sulking Advani, Joshi

BJP president Amit Shah. PTI File photo

BJP president Amit Shah on Monday evening met sulking elders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi in a bid to cool their tempers, hours after the release of the party manifesto.

Both the veterans, who had expressed their anger against the leadership's approach towards them in the Lok Sabha elections, were not present at the release of the manifesto. Joshi was manifesto committee chairman in 2014.

There were indications even before the launch of manifesto that Shah would be visiting both the leaders at their residences. Shah first drove to Joshi and then to Advani.

There was no official word from both Shah or the veteran leaders about the meeting.

Advani through a blog and Joshi through an open letter to voters in Kanpur had publicised their emotions over not being allowed to contest the elections and the top leadership not engaging with them before taking such a decision.

Shah now contests from Gandhinagar, which was represented by Advani, while Joshi was the MP from Kanpur. Last month, Joshi had written a terse open letter saying the BJP leadership does not want him to contest the election from Kanpur or anywhere while Advani last week wrote a blog which indicated his displeasure over the style of functioning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah.

The Opposition had lapped up the blog to target Modi and Shah. While Modi had acknowledged the blog through a tweet saying he was thankful that he could work with the "greats like" Advani, there was a relatively muted response from Shah or the BJP rank and file.

There were also reports that Opposition had approached Joshi to contest against Modi in Varanasi but he had declined it and demanded that he be offered another seat to contest. However, there was no confirmation about such a move.

Earlier, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also released a statement saying she was opting out of Lok Sabha contest saying the BJP appeared to be in a state of a dilemma to choose a candidate for Indore due to her claim on the seat. She represented Indore since 1989.

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