New Delhi: The time tested leaders of the BJP won’t be seen this time around in the electoral battle. As the counting of the votes takes place, News 18.com lists the veterans who are not in the fray.
Senior BJP leader LK Advani was not given the place in the BJP's first list. Amit Shah, the party's president, contested the Gandhinagar seat. In 2014, there was much criticism at the ‘elevation’ of BJP elders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the newly-formed Margdarshak Mandal. It was seen as an attempt to keep them out of the decision making body.
The senior most among the women MPs, Sumitra Mahajan is did not contest for the Lok Sabha elections 2019. She is the Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha and has been associated with the BJP for decades. In 2014, she got elected to the Lower House for the eighth time. She is currently the longest-serving woman member and has represented the Indore constituency of Madhya Pradesh since 1989. As a Union Minister she held holding the portfolios for Human Resource Development, Communications and Petroleum.
Murli Manohar Joshi
BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi did not contest the Lok Sabha elections. The buzz has been that the seasoned leader has been sidelined just like LK Advani with a lesser known BJP leader Satyadev Pachauri contesting from Kanpur seat.
Union minister Arun Jaitley did not contest the Lok Sabha elections this time. Jaitley lost in the 2014 elections and the party had made him Rajya Sabha MP after he lost the polls against Captain Amarinder Singh from Amritsar constituency.
He is the current Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of the Government of India. A member of the BJP, Jaitley previously held the cabinet portfolios of Finance, Defence, Corporate Affairs, Commerce and Industry and Law and Justice in the Vajpayee and Modi government.
The veteran from the BJP camp, currently MP from Kangra Shanta Kumar announced that he will not contest elections. His political career began from the grass root level in 1963 when he was elected as a Panch in the Gram Panchayat for Garhjamula. In 1972, Kumar got elected to the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly. In 1989 he was elected to the 9th Lok Sabha from Kangra. He was re-elected twice in 1998 and 1999 and served as a senior minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government from 1999 to 2004. He was Union Minister of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution from 1999 to 2002 and Union Minister of Rural Development from 2002 to 2004. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Himachal Pradesh in 2008. In 2014, he was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha from Kangra.
In 2014, BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain contested from Bhagalpur seat and lost out to Shailesh Kumar of RJD. This time the seat has gone to JDU’s account as part of the NDA alliance. He is not in this electoral battle.
Former Major General BC Khanduri
In Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, former major general BC Khanduri was the Minister of State for External Affairs and also chief minister of Uttarakhand twice. But he is out of fray this time as he expressed his desire to not contest elections. He is a Member of Parliament in the 16th Lok Sabha and represents the Garhwal Parliamentary Constituency of Uttarakhand in Lok Sabha. He has also served as a Cabinet Minister, Ministry of Surface Transport of the Government headed by former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Union Minister and senior BJP leader Uma Bharti had expressed her desire to not contest elections this time by writing to the party president Amit Shah. She has been made the national vice president of the party. Bharti held various state-level and cabinet-level portfolios in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Tourism, Youth Affairs and Sports, and also in Coal and Mines during the second as well as third ministry of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In 2014, she was appointed the Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, and held this office until September 2017. Bharti was among the leaders in the controversial Ram Janmabhoomi movement of the 1980s and 1990s, organized by the BJP and the Vishva Hindu Parishad. She was present at the demolition of the Babri Masjid, and was later indicted by the Liberhan Commission for her role in the incident.
BJP leader Ramesh Bais, who is a member of the 16th Lok Sabha representing the Raipur constituency of Chhattisgarh, is not in the electoral race. Bais member of Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 1980 to 1984. In 1989, Bais was elected for the first time to the Indian parliament as a member of the 9th Lok Sabha from Raipur, Madhya Pradesh. He was re-elected consecutively from 1996 to 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th,15th and 16th Lok Sabha. Sunil Soni of the BJP is contesting from the seat now.
Rajen Gohain representing Nagaon, Assam in the Lok Sabha has represented the Nowgong constituency in Assam since 1999. He served as a Member of parliament Lok Sabha four times. He has represented the Nowgong constituency. In 2004, 2009 and 2014 he was re-elected. On 5 July 2016, Gohain was inducted to the Union Cabinet as a Minister of State in the Railway Ministry.