Narendra Modi will continue to lead, says Amit Shah on Kejriwal’s ‘retirement at 75’ remark

Voting for Modi will account to voting for Amit Shah as Prime Minister as he turns 75 next year, says Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

Updated - May 12, 2024 07:04 am IST

Published - May 12, 2024 05:59 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. File

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Back on the campaign trail after being released from Tihar Jail on interim bail, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that voting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 Lok Sabha election would amount to voting for Amit Shah as Prime Minister as Mr. Modi would be set to retire from politics as he turns 75 on September 17, 2025.

However, responding to his comments, Union Home Minister Shah said that Mr. Modi would continue as PM for the full term, and the BJP’s constitution did not mention any retirement age.

Mr. Kejriwal cited a norm Mr. Modi has enforced in the BJP that leaders should retire at 75. Suggesting a power struggle within the BJP, Mr. Kejriwal said, “If their [BJP] government is formed, they will first dispose of [Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister] Yogi Adityanath and then make Amit Shah the Prime Minister of the country. PM Modi is asking for votes for Amit Shah. Will Amit Shah fulfil Modi’s guarantee?”

Mr. Kejriwal took a cue from Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy who also questioned if Mr. Modi was ready to retire at 75 and said, “Modiji himself in 2014 made a rule that whoever in the BJP turns 75, they will be made to retire. First L.K. Advani was made to retire then Murli Manohar Joshi, Sumitra Mahajan and Yashwant Sinha. If this pattern is followed, I would like to ask the BJP who is their PM candidate?” Mr. Kejriwal asked. He added that Mr. Modi was on a “one nation, one leader” mission to impose “dictatorship” by not only putting Opposition leaders behind bars but “politically finishing off” those in the BJP as well.

“If the BJP wins the Lok Sabha election, all Opposition leaders including Mamata Banerjee, Tejashvi Yadav, M.K. Stalin, Pinarayi Vijayan and Uddhav Thackeray, will be in jail. They won’t even leave leaders within the BJP as they have already finished the careers of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Vasundhara Raje, Manohar Lal Khattar and Raman Singh. The next in line is Yogi Adityanath,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

Out on interim bail till June 1, Mr. Kejriwal said that he will travel across the country and beg people to save India from a “dictatorship”. He said that the BJP thought that by getting the top four leaders of the AAP arrested they would be able to destroy the party but that plan has backfired. “They have made a fake case against me and thought I would resign as Chief Minister but I did not fall for their conspiracy. Even Hemant Soren, who has been arrested, should not have resigned,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

Reacting to the statement, Mr. Shah said, “I would like to tell Arvind Kejriwal and company and the whole INDIA bloc that there is no need for you to feel happy that Mr. Modi is turning 75. It is not written anywhere in the BJP’s constitution that you have to retire. Mr. Modi will complete the term and will continue to lead the country. There is no confusion in BJP on this.” 

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