The BJP national executive meeting which began in New Delhi on Wednesday saw former Karnataka chief minister BS Yedyurappa and a party MP boycotting the conclave while leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj kept away due to ill-health.
Yeddyurappa, who has been sulking since he was forced by the BJP high command to step down due to graft charges against him, kept away from the National Executive. He is reportedly attending an Art of Living workshop in Karnataka.
BJP MP from Purnea Uday Singh also boycotted the conclave as he is away in his constituency where he plans to hold a programme on September 30 to express grief at the lack of development despite the JD(U)-BJP coalition government in power for seven years now.
Singh recently got a survey conducted in his constituency to gauge the development there on various parameters.
The report pointed out that the area has lagged behind considerably in the past several years, belying claims of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar that huge development has taken place since he took over in 2005.
Sources close to both Yeddyurappa and Singh said they will also not attend the two-day national council which begins on Thursday.
The council meet is important this time as it will ratify the amendment to the BJP Constitution allowing a second term to the party president, state unit and district unit chiefs.
Since this will pave the way to another term for BJP chief Nitin Gadkari, a boycott of the national council by Yeddyurappa and Singh is a direct challenge to the top leader.
Swaraj, who was admitted to AIIMS ten days ago due to ill-health, is still to be discharged. "She is in AIIMS. She has recovered completely and is fine. But her doctors have advised her to take rest. She has sent her best wishes for the conclave," BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
However, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's presence came as a huge relief for the party central leadership.