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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Khanduri, Raje keep crisis pot boiling

Shekhar Iyer with Utpal Parashar and K.S. Tomar, Hindustan Times  Dehradun/Jaipur/New Delhi, August 27, 2009
First Published: 01:24 IST(27/8/2009) | Last Updated: 10:42 IST(27/8/2009)

 The crisis-ridden BJP faced more problems on Wednesday, with former Uttarakhand chief minister B C Khanduri questioning his removal from the post and Vasundhara Raje, party leader in the Rajasthan assembly who has been refusing to quit her post, holding a fresh meeting of her supporters.

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In a letter reportedly sent to the BJP president before the chintan baithak (introspection meeting) last week, but which became public knowledge only on Wednesday, Khanduri is understood to have questioned the reason for his ouster despite the fact that he enjoyed the support of over two dozen of the party’s 35 MLAs in the Uttarakhand assembly.

Khanduri also targeted the high command for not taking action against any other senior leader for the Lok Sabha defeat. In Uttarakhand the BJP had been wiped out in the last elections, losing all five seats.

Similarly Raje, again underscoring her hold over the BJP’s Rajasthan MLAs, called them for a meeting where a decision was taken to boycott the assembly’s session from Thursday.  Sources close to Raje claimed 71 of the BJP’s 78 MLAs attended, in a tacit message that they did not want her to quit.

“I have not resigned from post of opposition leader,” she said, but added in the same breath: “I’m a disciplined member of the party.”

Thus, if the BJP sparked off a storm by expelling senior leader Jaswant Singh last week for writing a book on Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah, its hope of quelling the storm by not taking any action against Rajya Sabha MP Arun Shourie for his outburst, failed too.

But an unfazed Rajnath Singh said the party would emerge stronger from the crisis.


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