New Delhi: The BJP on Sunday released its list 23rd list of candidates for the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections 2019, and threw a surprise by naming Shankar Lalwani from the Indore seat- a stronghold of veteran MP Sumitra Mahajan.

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Mahajan has represented Indore eight times, making her the longest-serving woman Parliamentarian.

The candidature of Shankar Lalwani was aided by two factors- one of the unsaid not-above-75-years-of-age rule for candidates and the other that Mahajan herself stepped back from contesting the Lok Sabha election 2019, reasoning that the party ‘seemed hesitiant’.

 

On April 5, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan announced that she would not be contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and told The Hindu,” The BJP has not declared a candidate for the Indore seat till now. Why is there this situation of uncertainty? It’s possible that the party may be hesitant to take a particular decision. I had, however, spoken to seniors in the party in this context quite early on and left the decision to them. It seems they still have some hesitancy with regard to the candidate for the seat. This is the reason why I’m making this declaration now that I will not be fighting the Lok Sabha polls, and leave the party free to make a decision on the seat.”

The BJP recently denied poll tickets to veterans LK Advani (91) and Dr Murli Manohar Joshi (85) from Gandhinagar and Kanpur Lok Sabha constituencies respectively- while towing the rule of not fielding candidate above the age of 75. Advani represented the Gandhinagar parliamentary constituency six times since 1991, whereas Joshi had vacated the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency in 2014 to enable Narendra Modi, the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate to contest from there, and shifted to Kanpur.

BJP national president Amit Shah will now make his electoral debut with the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency and UP cabinet minister Satyadev Pachauri will fight from Kanpur.

Sumitra Mahajan, who turns 76-years-old this year, has represented Indore since 1989.