BJP delays decision on poll campaign committee chief

Panaji, June 7 (IANS) While much hype has been created around the selection of the BJP’s campaign committee chief for the 2014 general elections, party sources said that a decision may be taken only by Sunday, though no official announcement was made.

Speculation has been rife that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi could head the campaign committee for the polls. The decision was put off as the party remained divided on the issue. A view expressed by the L.K. Advani camp is that Modi should be only be appointed campaign committee in-charge for the upcoming assembly elections in five states.

The decision was to be taken in the meeting of office bearers held Friday, which was also attended by members of the party’s parliamentary board, general secretaries, state in-charges and state party chiefs. This is a deviation from the normal routine that the parliamentary board members attend a meeting of office bearers.

However, a decision could not be taken as key leaders, including Advani and Sushma Swaraj appeared against it.

While Advani missed the meeting entirely, Sushma Swaraj arrived late, reportedly upset over the idea of Modi spearheading the party’s battle in 2014.

BJP members however clarified that Sushma Swaraj had stopped at her hotel as she was “tired”.

Sources said BJP president Rajnath Singh and Advani also talked over the phone, with Advani expressing his reservation over making Modi the chief of the election campaign for the Lok Sabha polls and suggested that Modi be made chief only for the upcoming assembly polls.

Insiders feel that the possibility of Modi being made BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for the general elections has not gone down too well with several party leaders, including Advani, Sushma Swaraj and some others.

Sources say the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) is in favour of Modi as the election campaign chief.

A party leader, who did not wish to be identified, said that though Modi’s name was initially suggested as the poll manager, other leaders are also being considered. Sushma Swaraj, who led the party’s poll campaign team in 2009, is one of those whose name have been put forward for the post.

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