Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal claims Amit Shah to be PM in 2025 if NDA wins; Modi will finish term, says Union minister

NEW DELHI/HYDERABAD: A day after he was released on interim bail by SC to campaign in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, Delhi CM and AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal fired his first salvo on Saturday, saying PM Modi would retire next year as he turns 75, going by the rule he made for BJP functionaries in 2014, and pass the baton to Union home minister Amit Shah.
“I ask BJP, who is going to be your PM? Modiji will turn 75 on Sept 17 next year. Modiji himself made a rule in BJP in 2014 that anyone in the party who reaches the age of 75 will retire,” Kejriwal said at a media interaction.
“So I ask BJP, who is your PM candidate? If they form govt, they will first tackle (UP CM) Yogiji. Then, Modiji’s most favourite, Amit Shah, will be made PM. So I want to alert the people of the country, Modiji is not asking for votes for himself, he is seeking votes to make Amit Shah PM. I want to ask Modiji and Amit Shahji, who will fulfil Modiji’s guarantees? Will Amit Shah do it?”


Shah immediately responded by saying that Kejriwal was unnecessarily celebrating the prospect of Modi hanging his boots after turning 75 and the PM was not going anywhere. “I want to tell Arvind Kejriwal & co and the entire Indi Alliance, you don’t have to be happy about Modiji turning 75. This is not written anywhere in BJP’s constitution. Modiji will complete his term and continue to lead the nation. There is no confusion in BJP about this,” Shah said in the first forthright assertion that PM was not bound by the 75-year cutoff that was brought in 2014 by the larger saffron leadership to phase out veterans who were adjudged to have reached their ‘sell-by’ political date.
Shah’s statement that the 75-year rule does not apply to Modi only confirms what was already known. The decision to ‘retire’ veterans like Advani reflected the consensus in the Sangh Parivar about the diminution of their capacity to contribute to the cause. In contrast, Modi is seen as the talisman, with his popularity surpassing even BJP’s in many parts and sections.
Kejriwal’s statements triggered a string of reactions from other senior BJP functionaries as well, including defence minister Rajnath Singh and party chief J P Nadda. “The INDI Alliance, which is unable to decide on its leadership is speculating unsuccessfully about our leadership… INDI alliance leaders do not have even an ounce of the acceptability and credibility that Modi has among people,” Singh said.
“Modi is our leader and will continue to lead us in the future,” Nadda said. “The leader who has come out of jail also knows that ‘aayega to Modi hi, rahega to Modi hi’ (only Modi will be voted to office, and he will remain there)”.


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