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Aug 26, 2014 at 11:47pm IST

End of Vajpayee-Advani era as BJP shunts out top veterans into token body Marg Darshak Mandal

New Delhi: It is the end of an era, finally and fully. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee-LK Advani era or whatever remained of it in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now over.

For the first time since the formation of the party, Vajpayee and Advani, who were the top two leaders in every dispensation no matter who the BJP president was over the last 24 years, along with Murli Manohar Joshi, were on Tuesday dropped from the highest decision making body of the party - the central Parliamentary Board.

The three have been replaced by the new president Amit Shah, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and General Secretary JP Nadda.

While Vajpayee's eviction is understandable as he has not been in active politics due to health reasons, both Advani and Joshi have contested the recent elections and are members of the Lok Sabha.

The new president Amit Shah has instead created a token body Marg Darshak Mandal for the party veterans, and to give it some semblance of authority, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh have been made a part of it.

However, the Mandal, unlike the Parliamentary Board, has no validity as per the party constitution.

Not only this, the trio has also been dropped from the Central Election Committee which has the final word on deciding candidates for elections.

In the revamp, the stamp of Modi and his close aide Amit Shah is very clear.

Modi had stuck to the 75-plus formula in drafting the new Cabinet after his emphatic victory earlier this year. His prodigy Amit Shah had emulated it in finalising his new team, and now, finally, the first generation of BJP leadership has been dropped from what is considered the topmost body in the party organisation.