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Chairmanship of “Election Committee� satisfies BJP President

New Delhi, Wed, 09 Jan 2008 NI Wire

BJP's national president Rajnath Singh reconciled somewhat by declaring himself the chairman of 19-member central election management committee, leaving out Narendra Modi's remarkable success story in Gujarat.

The decision was taken in a meeting between Party President Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition L K Advani on Monday.

This 19-member committee was an extension to the informal group who had met 11-days ago at Advani's residence to discuss the next Lok Sabha and assembly election's strategy.

Senior members, who were not invited on December 29 at residential meeting felt insulted and so in a meeting on Monday between Singh and Advani was decided to incorporate all those senior leaders in a central election management committee.

The committee has been tasked with the responsibility of finalising the party's strategy for wresting power at the Centre in next year's general election. Before the big battle, elections to nine state assemblies, including Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, ruled by the BJP, are to be held in less than year. The party is keen to continue its good run in all these states.

The committee includes leaders such as Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashwant Sinha, Bal Apte, Ramlal, Gopinath Munde, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Vinay Katiyar, who are not favoured by Mr. Advani, and others such as Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Arun Shourie, who are seen as close to Mr. Advani. Besides all six general secretaries comprising Arun Jaitley and Thawarchand Gehlot are in the committee.

The first meeting of the huge central election management committee will be held on January 15.

With the aim to re-energize the party workers and revive NDA by strengthening bonds and enlisting support of new alliance partners in those states, where BJP's position is weak or inadequate; it was decided to convene a meeting of NDA between January 22 and 25.

The BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has been entrusted with the task of co-ordinating with the party alliances. She has been asked to manage the party effort to get new allies ahead of the general election.

The ‘chairmanship' is supposed to acted as catalyst to satisfy Singh's ego and position amidst the changed power economics within the party following Narendra Modi's astounding victory in Gujarat assembly election and declaring Advani as prime ministerial candidate.

Formation of the ‘management committee' is a signal sent out by the Bhartiya Janata Party that it is in election mood and preparing itself for the general election roughly 15 months left and 9 assembly elections due from now to Lok Sabha election.

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