New Delhi: As the storm over the astounding victory registered by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2019 Lok Sabha election begins to settle, reports suggest the next task up the NDA government’s sleeve is to decide Rajya Sabha berths.
Sources say that the BJP is likely to decide this week whether party veterans LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj among others will be moved to the Upper House of the Parliament.
(In 2014, Advani and Joshi were included in the BJP’s Margadarshak Mandal.)
Towing the 75-year age bar, the party denied tickets to LK Advani (91) and Murli Manohar Joshi (85) for the 2019 General election. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi and now Union Home Minister Amit Shah called upon the leaders at their residences first thing post the election results were declared on May 23.
PM Modi had then tweeted, “The BJP’s successes today are possible because greats like him spent decades building the party and providing a fresh ideological narrative to the people,” after meeting Advani.
Further, he wrote, “Murli Manohar Joshi is a scholar and intellectual par excellence. His contribution towards improving Indian education is remarkable. He has always worked to strengthen the BJP and mentor several Karyakartas including me. Met him this morning and sought his blessings.”
Soon after the storm brewing over BJP’s alleged disrespect to its elders calmed, speculations were rife that the party veterans will be moved to the Rajya Sabha.
Now in the next two months, 10 Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant- but according to BJP sources there are plenty of leaders who merit priority over ‘elders’- like Union ministers S Jaishankar, Ram Vilas Paswan.
It is also unclear if Sushma Swaraj (67) who did not contest the election citing health reasons will be given a Rajya Sabha berth or not.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) surpassed its 2014 tally of 336 to achieve a number of 353 seats out of the total 542 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP on its own bagged 303 seats across the country.