Naqvi adds to BJP’s growing phase-out list

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, July 17: Former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has begun practicing law. His ex-colleague Prakash Javdekar in the Council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is living a post-retirement life.

By all accounts, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has also joined the league of Ministers in the Modi Cabinet who have been phased out as part of a process in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Former Union Minister Harsh Vardhan, who helmed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare during the outbreak of the Covid-19, is now struggling to be heard in the Delhi unit of the BJP, while the party leaders maintain respectful distance from him.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, 67, represents the Patna Sahib Lok Sabha seat in the Parliament. Harsh Vardhan, 67, is a Lok Sabha MP from the Chandni Chowk Parliamentary constituency in the national capital.

Prakash Javdekar, 71, and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, 64, had been members of the Rajya Sabha for several terms.

The BJP had also denied the Rajya Sabha re-nomination to the party’s former vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, 64, who is currently the president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

Circumstantially, 60s is now a risky age group for the established BJP leaders, who are either in the government or in the party, as the saffron outfit’s preference age group is seemingly now the 50s.

Additionally, the BJP under the watch of Modi and the Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah has clear preference for party leaders who can contest the Lok Sabha elections, besides having the skills to take the charge of the party’s electoral battles in designated territories.

This seems logical given that the BJP continues to be a political party always busy in the election activities.

In this backdrop, Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradahan and Piyush Goyal, both belonging to the Rajya Sabha club, may need to watch out, while they have a semblance of comfort levels for being the members of the coveted Amit Shah club in the BJP.

Naqvi, incidentally, has been the BJP’s most visible media face, while being the party’s most available leader to rush to the Election Commission to lodge complaints against the Trinamool Congress and others.

He, while having been the Cabinet Minister for the Ministry of Minority Affairs, had facilitated a few meetings of the Muslim intellectuals and the functionaries of the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) in the run up to the Supreme Court’s Ramjanmabhoomi Ayodhya judgment.

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