Advani puts younger leaders in key parliament posts (Lead)

June 3rd, 2009 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, June 3 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday went for a generational change as party leader L.K. Advani named 57-year-old Sushma Swaraj as his deputy in the Lok Sabha and key strategist Arun Jaitley, 56, as opposition leader in the upper house.
Advani, who was elected leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sunday, was authorised by the BJP parliamentary party to choose party office-bearers in the two houses of parliament.

“The party was almost divided over Advani’s successor. But the nomination of Sushma Swaraj has sent a clear signal of things to come,” said a senior BJP leader, requesting anonymity.

He added: “It is a direct message about who will lead the party in the times to come.

“This step should be enough to silence all who were hankering for the posts,” he said.

Murli Manohar Joshi, considered to be a leader of the ‘anti-Advani camp’ in the party, had thrown his hat in the ring for the post of the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha when Advani had refused to remain the party’s leader in the house following the election defeat.

Advani, however, continues in the position.

Advani named S.S. Ahluwalia as deputy leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

“For Rajya Sabha’s opposition leader, the choice was between Jaitley and M. Venkaiah Naidu,” said another leader.

Maya Singh and Ramesh Bais were named the chief whip of the party in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, respectively.

Former central minister Jaswant Singh was the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha but he has been elected to the Lok Sabha.

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