India

Indian media: BJP founders' era ends

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi walks in front of a picture of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee after a news conference in New Delhi July 9, 2014. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Papers say leaders like AB Vajpayee have faded into the background since Narender Modi's "rise to power"

Media in India say the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) decision to drop three founding members from its highest decision-making body marks the end of an era.

The BJP's founding members - Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi - were on Tuesday dropped from the party's 12-member parliamentary board.

The senior leaders have been given the role of advisers in a newly-formed Margdarshak Mandal (Mentors' group) as a "token gesture", media reports say.

Leading dailies have published front-page headlines on the changes.

"BJP's generational shift apace", reads the front-page headline in The Hindu, while the Hindustan Times' top line says: "Atal, Advani, Joshi out of BJP power centre".

Papers say the changes signal the end of the "transition" in the party and bear the "distinct stamp" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's authority.

The Hindustan Times says the party's move "firmly shuts the political door for the senior leaders who anchored the rise of the BJP in the 1990s and guided it through the tumultuous years in the opposition".

"It is the first time that Vajpayee, 89, his long-time aide Advani, 86, and Manohar Joshi, 80, have not been accommodated in the board. The BJP has undergone a generational change under Mr Modi," the paper adds.

Echoing similar views, The Times of India says the new BJP parliamentary board has "the stamp of Prime Minister Narendra Modi all over now".

The Indian Express says the trio has been offered an advisory role "in an apparent attempt to placate the veterans and fend off accusations of treating the party old guard shabbily".

Bolt in India

Meanwhile, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani has asked the states to ensure that all government-run schools for girls have a toilet by July 2015, reports say.

Ms Irani's statement comes days after Prime Minister Modi, in his Independence Day speech on 15 August, urged all schools to construct toilets for students.

Observers say many government schools in India do not have proper toilet facilities and that keeps girls away from education.

And finally, Usain Bolt's Indian fans are gearing up to welcome the star in the southern city of Bangalore next month, The Asian Age reports.

The Olympic champion from Jamaica will play against Yuvraj Singh in a cricket match as part of a promotional event in the city on 2 September, the paper adds.

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