Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Friday announced that she will not be contesting the Lok Sabha elections. Mahajan, who is an eight-time MP from Indore, questioned the delay over the announcement of a candidate for the prestigious seat she has won since 1989. Mahajan is the longest serving woman MP currently in Parliament.
“Till date, the party has not announced its candidate for Indore,” she said in a statement. “What is the reason for this hesitation? It’s possible they have some doubts. This is despite me having discussions with senior party leaders earlier and leaving the decision up to them. It looks like they are still in a dilemma. That is why I announce that I don’t want to contest the election anymore. The party can choose a candidate with a free mind.”
Mahajan, who turns 76 years old on April 12, said there had been speculation if the party would field someone who was above 75 years. “There was speculation and so I decided to end them and free the party to make its choice,” she said, according to PTI.
The BJP has not fielded many of its veterans this year, including LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi. According to reports, in an interview with The Week, BJP chief Amit Shah has said that it was the party’s decision to not give tickets to those above 75 years of age.
The names for possible candidates doing the rounds are of Indore Mayor and MLA Malini Gaud, another MLA Usha Thakur and BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. Polling for the seat is scheduled on May 19.