Miffed Jaitley skips key BJP’s poll panel meeting

March 13th, 2009 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) Miffed at Sudhanshu Mittal’s appointment as his party’s election co-coordinator for the northeastern states, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Arun Jaitley Friday skipped the central election committee (CEC) meeting here, BJP sources said.
“Jaitley was appointed chief coordinator for the BJP’s Lok Sabha election campaign only last Friday. What miffed him was the appointment of Sudhanshu Mittal as the co-incharge for the northeastern states without his consultation,” a party source told IANS on condition of anonymity.

BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy confirmed that Jaitley did not attend the meeting though he refused to say why.

Besides being the chief coordinator of the party’s Lok Sabha election campaign, Jaitley also heads a seven-member committee constituted to formulate the BJP’s policies.

BJP president Rajnath Singh appointed Mittal, a close aide of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, for coordinating the party’s election campaign in the northeast.

Mittal reportedly played a key role in finalsing the seat-sharing agreement with Asom Gana Parishad in Assam.

The CEC meeting at the BJP headquarters here started around 11 a.m. and lasted for nearly two and a half hours. Senior leaders Rajnath Singh, L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, M. Venkaiah Naidu and V.K. Malhotra attended it.

Jaitley’s absence at the meeting sparked off speculation about factions in the party.

“He skipped the CEC meeting to show his displeasure with the decision. But he attended the lunch at Advani’s residence organised to finalise the seat-sharing agreement with Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar for Bihar,” the source said.

The party has already named candidates for several states and is expected to announce the names for states such as Delhi, Haryana and Bihar in the next few days.

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