Kolkata: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya here on Tuesday said party’s former Presidents Murli Manohar Joshi and Lal Krishna Advani themselves refused contest the Lok Sabha polls this time.
“Advani Ji and Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi refused to contest the Lok Sabha polls. Similarly, I also refused to contest. If someone is unwilling (to contest) will the party give them tickets?” Vijayvargiya said after inspecting the preparations for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting at the Brigade Parade Ground here on April 3.
When asked whether the two party veterans wrote any letter to the leadership expressing their unwillingness to contest the coming elections, Vijayvargiya said the message was conveyed to their organisational minister.
The BJP leader’s remark comes amid the controversy over Joshi’s claim in an open letter that the party asked him not to contest the 2019 polls.
Earlier, the BJP denied a ticket to Advani and replaced him with party President Amit Shah in the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat.
The two veteran leaders have also been kept out of the list of 40 leaders who will be campaigning for the first two phases of the Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh.