No rift within party, says Advani but Jaitley remains miffedMarch 16th, 2009 - 6:08 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Monday dismissed reports of any rift within the party over Sudhanshu Mittal’s appointment as co-coordinator for election campaigning in the northeastern states.
“It makes a nice copy, but there is no rift within the party,” Advani told reporters here after releasing “Guarding India’s Integrity” - the memoirs of Lieutenant-General (retd) S.K. Sinha, who was former governor of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir.
Party sources, however, said Advani was making an effort to resolve the differences between BJP president Rajnath Singh and general secretary Arun Jaitley over Mittal’s appointment with the help of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The differences between Jaitley and Rajnath Singh came out in the open Friday when the general secretary skipped a key meeting of the party’s central election committee.
Jaitley, in charge of the party’s Lok Sabha election campaign, is reportedly miffed over Rajnath Singh’s move to appoint Mittal as in-charge of the poll campaign in Assam and joint in-charge of campaign in the northeast without consulting him.
Mittal is said to have played a key role in finalising the seat-sharing agreement with the Asom Gana Parishad in Assam.
“All efforts are on to convince Jaitley. But he has reportedly made clear that he will not attend any meeting until Mittal’s appointment is revoked. Interestingly, in the last two election management meetings of the northeastern states, Sudhanshu Mittal was not called,” a party source said.
“The next CEC meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday) and the real picture will emerge only after that,” the source added.
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