Shimla: Amid calls for leadership change at the top, BJP leaders gathered in Shimla on Wednesday for a three-day brainstorming conclave aimed at chalking out the future course of action for the party, taking lessons from the severe drubbing suffered in the recent Lok Sabha polls.
At the closed-door chintan baithak (introspection meeting), the party leadership is expected to look into the reasons for the poll debacle on the basis of the report prepared by the three-member Bal Apte committee.
The meeting, to be attended by about 25 top BJP leaders including LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, is taking place in the shadow of the controversy surrounding senior leader Jaswant Singh's book on MA Jinnah, in which the former External Affairs Minister has praised the Pakistan founder.
According to reports, while Jaswant Singh has been invited to the meeting, senior leaders Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie have been given a cold shoulder in the wake of their recent outburst against the top leadership for failing to take accountability for the Lok Sabha poll debacle.
On Tuesday, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat had called for the young generation to take charge, adding the party leaders should resolve their differences at the earliest.
A senior party leader said the meeting would look into the causes that led to the party's recent defeat in the Parliamentary Elections and its strategy for the forthcoming Assembly Elections, including those in Haryana, Maharashtra and West Bengal. The defiance shown by Vasundhara Raje over her resignation could also echo at the session.
Over 25 senior party leaders -- including members of the parliamentary board and Chief Ministers Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Ramesh Pokhriyal (Uttarakhand) and BS Yeddyurappa (Karnataka) -- will participate in the three-day introspection exercise.
The party's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj has already indicated in New Delhi that former foreign minister Jaswant Singh's views on Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah would certainly be the subject of a detailed discussion during the Shimla session.
First Published: Wednesday, August 19, 2009, 10:34