’It was never decided’: What Rajnath Singh said on ‘retirement at 75’ rule in BJP’

Union Minister and former BJP chief Rajnath Singh said there was no such decision that people above 75 years would not contest polls.

Livemint
Updated22 May 2024
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.(PTI)

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that it was never decided that people above 75 years would not contest polls.

Rajnath Singh, the former party president, made the comment in an interview with the Time of India, which was published on May 22.

When asked about a party rule that those above 75 years would not contest polls, and the decision was taken when he was the party president, the senior BJP leader replied: "It was never decided. You can write in bold letters that no such decision was taken… I was party president, and I am saying it forcefully that there was no such decision at all. Had it been decided, it would have been mentioned in the party constitution," said Singh.

Also Read: BJP runs itself: What JP Nadda said on RSS' presence within party

The Union minister further stated that if such a decision had been made, senior member LK Advani would not have contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

"There were several others above 75 years who contested and won Lok Sabha polls in 2014 and 2019," he added.

On May 11, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will retire in accordance with the rules made by him, upon reaching 75 years of age in September 2025.

Following that, Union Home Minister Amit Shah rebuked the AAP leader, saying he had bad news for Kejriwal. "PM Modi will remain till 2029...even after 2029, PM Modi will lead us," Shah said.

Also Read: 'Special treatment': Amit Shah on Supreme Court's interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal

Meanwhile, reacting to Kejriwal's claim that PM Modi will pass the baton to Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh said that the board has already announced that Modi will be PM.

"Who is he (Kejriwal) to take a decision for BJP? Such a decision can be taken only by the political party concerned… in our case, it is parliamentary board that takes such decisions. The board has already announced that Modi will be PM. In fact, Modi will be PM also in 2029," Singh told TOI.

Singh also rejected a claim that RSS was not actively involved in polls this time.

Also Read: '310 paar already': Amit Shah urges people to help PM Modi win over 400 Lok Sabha seats

"There is no basis to it. It’s a wrong narrative… shows the desperation of our opponents," Singh said.

In an interview published in the Indian Express on May 18, BJP president JP Nadda had said that the party's structure has become stronger, and now it runs itself.

Also Read: ‘Not a beauty contest’: On INDIA bloc's PM candidate, Jairam Ramesh says ‘name will be announced within hours…’

When questioned if the BJP needs the RSS' support, Nadda stated that the party has grown and its leaders perform their own duties and roles. He said the RSS is a cultural and social organisation and the BJP is a political organisation.

Meanwhile, Rajnath Singh exuded confidence that BJP candidates would win both Amethi and Raebareli seats. He also said that his victory margin in the Lucknow constituency will cross 5 lakh if turnout improves.

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