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Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 23, 2013
The Delhi BJP may be sparing no efforts to make the September 29 rally a success, but the absence of three senior national leaders is likely to play spoilsport. The rally, to be held at Rohini’s Japanese Park, will be attended by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.


Senior leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj will be conspicuous with their absence at the rally. While their absence has not surprised many, the party’s national president Rajnath Singh has also decided to give the rally a miss. “Rajnath Singh ji was supposed to come but it seems unlikely now,” said a senior BJP leader.

The Delhi BJP has already printed invitation cards for the rally and Delhi poll in-charge Nitin Gadkari and senior leader VK Malhotra figure as the chief guests. And because the three senior leaders won’t be attending it, their names don’t figure on the card. “We were given instructions from the party high command to print such a card,” said a Delhi BJP leader.

The Delhi unit justified their absence by saying that in an election year, a number of rallies would take place and it was not possible for all senior leaders to be present in every rally.

Sources further said that many senior BJP leaders had been put off by the fact that Modi’s presence inspired such frenzy among the crowd that it preferred to listen only to him.

“In the Jaipur rally, the crowd simply did not want to listen to anyone. Modi ji had to intervene to ask the crowd to let Vasundhara Raje speak,” said the source.