New Delhi: The BJP parliamentary body, the party’s top decision-making body, is meeting today to take stock of its Lok Sabha election preparedness and campaign. (Also read: BJP Ties up with Sikkim Krantikari Morcha For Lok Sabha, Assembly Elections)
The meeting comes at a time when the Opposition has been trying to corner the Centre over Balakot air strike. So the meeting, to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP’s President Amit Shah, would discuss its strategy as the pace for Lok Sabha election campaign picks up the pace.
The BJP has also been attacked by the Congress as the Election Commission is yet to announce the poll schedule. This, taken into account along with the PM’s hectic touring the country, has the Congress questioning if the poll panel was working as per the PM’s itinerary.
Meanwhile, media reports have suggested that during the meeting, the BJP will also mull over the age bar for fighting elections. While this could mean many senior party leaders left out in the cold, reports suggest that veterans like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi might still be fielded in 2019.
A daily quoted a senior BJP leader as saying, “Our consultation for identifying potential candidates is on. We might start announcing the names of our candidates from next week.”
The BJP had adopted an upper age limit for 75 for ministerial posts. In fact, then Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel and Union ministers Najma Heptualla and Kalraj Mishra resigned once they crossed the age of 75.
However, last month, the party leadership hinted that the age bar was for holding ministerial positions, and would not apply to those contesting polls.
That would be some relief for a whole bunch of party leaders; L K Advani (91), Murli Manohar Joshi (85), Sumitra Mahajan, who will turn 76 in April, Bhagat Singh Koshyari (76), BC Khanduri (84), Kalraj Mishra (77), Shanta Kumar (84), Kariya Munda (82) and Hukmdev Narayan Yadav (79).
A portal said that besides Advani, Joshi, Shanta Kumar, Mishra and Koshyari were likely to be fielded in the Lok Sabha polls.