New Delhi: In a hope to continue his winning streak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to contest from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi seat again in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The second seat will be finalised later.
A decision in this regard was taken at BJP Parliamentary Board meeting on Friday, which was held for nearly three hours to discuss key poll-related issues. The prime minister had defeated Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal with over 3 lakh votes in the last elections, while Congress candidate Ajay Rai was way behind with just 75,000 votes.
Besides the seat for PM Modi, the BJP members also came to a conclusion that there will be no blanket ban on leaders above 75 years of age. Any candidate who is capable of winning, even if he or she is above 75, will be given a ticket, a source close to the development said.
After the 2014 victory, PM Modi-led party changed its rules for party members, which included retirement from active politics after 75 and diminishing chances of getting party tickets after reaching 70. However, this year the norms seem to have been amended again as several prominent BJP faces will be ruled out if the party chooses to stick with the 2014 rule.
This includes 91-year-old LK Advani, 85-year-old Murli Manohar Joshi and 77-year-old Kalraj Mishra.
The source told News18 that BJP also plans to expand its alliances in the states. He said that there 16 allies in 2014 but “this year there will be 29”. The party has recently joined hands with AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and decided to continue its tie-ups with Shiv Sena and Lok Jan Shakti Party and Janata Dal (United) in Maharashtra and Bihar, respectively.
Many Rajya Sabha MPs will also be given tickets as the party is “focusing on the winning potential of a candidate and this is their biggest criteria”.