ADVANI absent from national executive meet
statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 8 JUNE: There was no let-up in the opposition from the L K Advani camp to the anointment of Mr Narendra Modi as chairman of the BJP’s election campaign committee as the party patriarch continued to stay away from the Goa executive meet for the second day today.
During deliberations on the first day of the national executive, BJP president Mr Rajnath Singh came under pressure from second-rung leaders and a large number of national executive members to make the big announcement about Mr Modi. About 300 delegates are attending the two-day meet.
“But with Mr Advani’s absence, the party president has made it clear that no major announcement would be made. He explained to enthusiastic party leaders that only the central parliamentary board can take a final call,” top sources told The Statesman from Goa.
In his presidential address, Mr Rajnath Singh chose to strike a note of optimism and said the Goa conclave would end on a positive note. This, despite the fact that Mr Advani chose to give the conclave a miss. This is probably the first time that Mr Advani, a co-founder of the party, skipped the national executive meet.
The BJP’s top leadership seems to have made up its mind regarding making any major announcement only after senior leaders meet Mr Advani in Delhi, as was suggested by Mrs Sushma Swaraj.
BJP spokesman Mr Prakash Javadekar alluded to this when he told media persons, “Wait till tomorrow…in the BJP, we don’t take decisions without consensus at the top level.”
In the evening, BJP spokesperson Ms Nirmala Sitharaman chose to speak vaguely, reflecting the dilemma the party was in. “At present, Mr Narendra Modi is a member of the party’s parliamentary board. If the party wants to give Mr Modi any other role, it will be announced to the media,” she said.
BJP leaders have also tried to take NDA allies on board over the issue even as parties like Shiv Sena condemned the protest in front of Mr Advani’s house.
Sena leader Mr Sanjay Raut described Mr Advani as the tallest leader of the country who practiced ‘principled politics’ and said the protests needed to be condemned.
Given that the JD-U has described the Goa deliberations as an internal matter of the BJP, some leaders felt the party could go ahead and name Mr Modi as the convener and not the chairman of the campaign committee, a source said from Goa. The party is in a bind as many think that if no decision is taken in favour of Mr Modi, it could demoralise the party cadre and also leave the Gujarat chief minister licking his wounds.
Mr Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, however, kept the momentum in favour of Mr Modi when he said, a "major announcement" in Goa would strengthen the organisation and project it as an alternative to the scam-ridden UPA government. The Gujarat chief minister is likely to address the conclave along with other party chief ministers tomorrow.
In a related development, Ms Uma Bharati, considered an insider in the Advani camp, wrote a letter to the party chief saying she will abide by the decision of the national executive. Mr Yashwant Sinha, who stayed away from the meeting, said his reason to miss the national executive was not Namo-mania.
Protests at Advani residence
NEW DELHI, 8 JUNE: BJP veteran L K Advani today faced protests at his Delhi residence by a group self-described as Narendra Modi&’s army, as the former chose to skip the party’s national executive meet in Goa. While the BJP was quick to condemn the incidents saying the protesters have nothing to do with the party, the Congress latched on to it reminding people of the treatment meted out to senior leaders within the Opposition party. pti
BJP&’s internal matter: JD-U
PATNA, 8 JUNE: Amid talks of BJP preparing to make Narendra Modi as campaign committee chief for 2014 general elections, NDA coalition partner JD(U) today said it was an internal matter of that party but made it clear that it does not need his service for its candidates. Party spokesman Rajiv Ranjan said his party has competent leaders to rally candidates in the 2014 elections and does not require any outside service. pti