Advani, M M Joshi axed from BJP parliamentary board

NEW DELHI (TIP): The generational shift in BJP was complete on August 26 with its founders Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi being dropped from the BJP parliamentary board, the highest decision-making body headed by BJP president Amit Shah, which has the stamp of Prime Minister Narendra Modi all over now.

In a token gesture, ailing Vajpayee along with Advani and Joshi, for long the BJP’s ‘Trimurti’, now figure in the new five-member ‘margdarshak mandal’ (guiding group) after being associated with the party for nearly four decades. Three-time Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and party general secretary J P Nadda are the new entrants to the BJP parliamentary board which was reconstituted by newly-appointed chief Amit Shah. The two have also been included in BJP’s central election committee, which decides on the party candidates to be fielded in elections.

MM Joshi

The 12-member parliamentary board chaired by Shah now has Modi, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar, Thawarchand Gehlot, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Jagat Prakash Nadda and Ramlal as its members. New BJP president Amit Shah initiated the changes after consultations with top BJP leaders and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For the two veterans, who were not considered for positions of power in the new saffron regime because they were over 75 years, this will be a far more significant blow.

For Advani, the exclusion from the board is part of a procession of setbacks that the veteran has suffered since he was overruled on whether Narendra Modi should be projected as the party’s PM candidate. The leadership had also shrugged aside the argument of Advani’s loyalists that he should be sponsored for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker. “When a generational shift has taken place and when need for accommodating fresh energy and ideas has finally been recognized, we need to make room for others who are more in tune with the requirements of the changed times,” a senior party leader said.

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