Citing the BJP's unwritten age norms, the party's sitting MLA from Surat, Narottam Patel, today said he would not contest the upcoming assembly polls to make way for the younger people.
81-year-old Patel, who represents Udhana seat of Surat, made the announcement during the ongoing state executive meet at the temple town of Somnath in Gir-Somnath district.
While talking to reporters after the meet, Patel, who won the assembly polls for five consecutive terms, said he would not contest the polls to be held later this year, despite being a strong candidate.
"The party does not have any rule (about the age bar). It is just a recommendation, so that the younger generation gets a chance. Thus, I have conveyed to the party that I will not contest the upcoming Assembly polls," said the former minister in Gujarat government.
"I am offering to quit voluntarily. Even though I am a strong candidate, I will not contest the polls. However, this does not mean that I will harm my party during the polls," Patel added.
The unwritten convention in the party, set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, has been that those attaining the age of 75 have to quit the post.
Earlier, last year, Anandiben Patel stepped down as the Gujarat chief minister citing the same convention.