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BJP for early party elections

Thursday 24 May 2007

Special Correspondent

Vajpayee rules out support for Kalam

The committee meets at Vajpayee’s residence Agenda for national executive committee meeting discussed

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s core committee decided here on Wednesday that organisational elections in some States where they had been postponed because of Assembly polls should be held at the earliest.

This could mean a revamp of the leadership in Uttar Pradesh where the party fared much worse than it expected. The former Chief Minister, Kalyan Singh, has already resigned from his position as in-charge of political affairs in the State owning moral responsibility for the poll debacle. The State unit president Kesrinath Tripathi, who himself lost his Assembly seat, has also submitted his resignation. Another State unit stalwart, Lalji Tandon, was not re-elected as leader of the party’s legislative wing, the position he held when the State went to polls.

Besides U.P., organisational elections will also be held in Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh and Uttarakhand. Party president Rajnath Singh said these would be held within two months.

It is learnt that the core committee that met at the residence of the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, discussed the agenda for the party’s national executive committee meeting being planned in Jaipur from June 15 to 17. The consensus view that emerged was that there should be a political and economic resolution focussing on the failures of the United Progressive Alliance government, a resolution on the adverse impact of the agricultural situation on farmers and a separate resolution on the BJP’s opposition to the present alignment of the Sethu Samudram project.

Some leaders reportedly felt that after the "charge-sheet" presented by the party president against the Manmohan Singh Government on Tuesday, the resolution on failures of the UPA would offer nothing new. However, it was agreed that it was important for the party to formally record what it wanted to say through a party resolution.

The presidential polls in July were only referred to in that the National Democratic Alliance has already authorised Mr. Vajpayee to hold consultations with allies on who it should support. "No names were discussed," a senior leader who attended the meeting said later.

On Tuesday Mr. Vajpayee had himself ruled out supporting the present incumbent A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for a second term by accepting that the NDA had opposed a second term for former President K.R. Narayanan on the ground that there was no precedence for a second term (except in the case of the first President Rajendra Prasad). He has also ruled himself out as a possible candidate while supporting the idea of a consensus.

However, it is for the ruling UPA to take the initiative in forging a broad consensus, senior party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said to reporters.

See online : The Hindu

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