Advani-Modi rift refuses to die down
The struggle within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on whether to have a single election campaign committee for the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the states or a parallel committee for the assembly elections later this year continued unabated on Wednesday. Though Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi emerged as the frontrunner for this position, veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani stuck to the position of having two separate committees, one for the general elections and other for assembly polls.
This divide in the run-up to the meeting of the party’s national executive in Goa over the weekend has made the battle for the party’s leadership intriguing. Sources in the BJP said that Modi expressed reservation on having two separate committees. His supporters say there is no precedent of having two separate campaign committees. In 2004, Pramod Mahajan was made in-charge of central as well as assembly campaign committee and same was the case in 2009 when Arun Jaitley was made in-charge of both the committees.
The day saw hectic political activity with Gujarat chief minister meeting party president Rajnath Singh and senior leader LK Advani. However, the meeting between Modi and Advani did not go beyond five minutes. It was Advani who had proposed the name of former BJP president Nitin Gadkari to head the campaign committee for the upcoming state elections, though the latter is learnt to have turned down the offer.