BJP meet twice a month to put up united face

Worried over BJP leaders expressing different views on issues or speaking out of turn, the party has decided to rein in its leaders.

Updated: May 09, 2012, 23:00 PM IST

New Delhi: Concerned over party leaders speaking in different voices on crucial issues, BJP Core Group on Wednesday decided to hold its meetings every fortnight seeking to present a united face and nip chances of dissensions spilling out and harming the party in coming elections.

In today`s meeting, chaired by BJP President Nitin Gadkari, the senior most leaders of the party also discussed the coming Presidential elections. The party still favours opposing the Congress candidate for the top post. The strategy for this was discussed during the meeting.

Worried over BJP leaders expressing views on issues which are at variance with each other or speaking out of turn, the party has decided to rein in its leaders.

The Core Group, which is one of the highest decision-making bodies of the party, will also meet twice a month to discuss important issues and present the same viewpoint to the media.

The latest examples where BJP leaders publicly differed with each other are the choice of Presidential election candidate and Jharkhand Rajya Sabha polls. The opinion of the organisation and BJP Parliamentary party have also differed on issues.

As a part of this strategy to bridge gaps, BJP has already decided that Gadkari will attend Parliamentary party meetings.

On Presidential polls, despite BJP leader Yashwant Sinha apparently expressing support for Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for the top post, the party is still of the view that doing so would be read as its standing with Congress.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had said BJP will not support Mukherjee or any Congress candidate.
A final view is likely to be taken after talking to other NDA allies, sources said.
The BJP Core Group also discussed the crisis in the party`s Rajasthan unit where Vasundhara Raje and her supporters had objected to the proposed yatra of party leader Gulabchand Kataria apparently aimed at projecting him as the party`s chief ministerial candidate in next assembly polls in the state next year. Kataria is close to RSS and also to party president Gadkari.

While the party claims the crisis in Rajasthan has blown over and Raje would remain the number one leader in the state, some changes at top level in the organisational set-up in Rajasthan is likely. A formula was worked out for the same to placate Raje.

The Jharkhand Rajya Sabha election results were also discussed. A section of BJP top leadership is miffed that not enough was done to ensure the victory of party candidate and former Deputy Leader of the party in the Upper House S S Ahluwalia. He finished third with 20 votes as only 18 BJP and two JD(U) MLAs had voted for him.

Even the two Independent MLAs who support the JMM-BJP government in the state had voted for Congress.

Sources said the continuing crisis in the party in Karnataka also figured in the meeting. State unit president KS Eshwarappa and Chief Minister DV Sadanand Gowda have written letters to Gadkari while former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa is demanding that he be reinstated as CM.

The two-hour meeting also discussed the issues that are to be finalised at the office-bearers` conclave on May 11 here to fix the agenda for the May 24-25 National Executive in Mumbai.

PTI