Monday, December 21, 2009

advani ensures no jagada between gadkari and munde

21 Dec 2009


From Our Bureau

NEW DELHI: The Bhartiya Janata Party's patriarch Lal Krishna Advani on Monday shifted party general secretary Gopinath Munde(60) to the parliamentary responsibility as deputy leader in the Lok Sabha.

The move is to protect new president Nitin Gadkari from being sucked into the old Maharashtra turf war, lest a new infight breaks out in the party even before he formally takes over.

At the same time, Advani gave no parliamentary responsibility to his own protege Ananth Kumar, a Bangalore MP, so as to sound Gadkari that he is available to continue as one of the national general secretaries in the new dispensation.

Though Munde was present at the coronation of Gadkari at the party headquarters here on Saturday, the latter reportedly sounded Advani during Sunday breakfast meeting that he will not be able to accommodate Munde in the new party set-up to avoid any trouble.

Sources said he sought Advani's help to contain Munde, bringing to his knowledge stories he was planting in the Marathi media that he may even join the Congress than to work under a junior's leadership. Munde is not only senior to Gadkari in the party as also in terms of age but he was also the deputy chief minister when the latter was just a cabinet minister in the BJP-Shiv Sena government.

Advani used the BJP parliamentary party constitution amended unanimously on Friday that takes away powers of the leaders of Opposition to appoint the party's deputy leader and chief whip in the two Houses and puts them in his hands as its chairman.

Immediately after his anointment to the new post, Advani had appointed his deputy leader Sushma Swaraj to be the new Opposition leader in the Lok Sabha and declared Arun Jaitley to continue in that position in the Rajya Sabha. He completed remaining appointments on Monday.

A BJP release says Advani has appointed Ramesh Bais, a former union minister of state from Chhattisgarh, to continue as the chief whip of BJP in the Lok Sabha. Similarly, Surinder Singh Ahluwalia continues to be the deputy leader of party in the Rajya Sabha and Maya Singh the chief whip.


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