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Modi survives rebellion

delhi Updated: Jun 09, 2008 02:23 IST

PTI
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Sushil Modi will continue as Bihar's deputy chief minister and also as leader of BJP's dissidence-wracked legislature party after an unprecedented 'secret ballot' showed he enjoyed majority support of the party's MLAs and MLCs in the state.

"It has been decided that there shall be no change in the leadership and Sushil Kumar Modi,Deputy Chief Minister will continue as leader of the legislature party," party spokesperson Ravi Shanker Prasad told PTI shortly after Modi won the 'head count' of legislators.

BJP leadership had decided to go for a 'secret ballot' to assess the view of legislators as a way out to address the demand by some of them that Modi should be removed from the two posts.

The trouble in BJP's Bihar unit erupted after last month's cabinet reshuffle in which some of the BJP ministers were dropped. The BJP and JD(U) share power in Bihar.

Senior party leaders Venkaiah Naidu and Sushma Swaraj, the observers for the meeting, consulted BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani and party president Rajnath Singh before annoucing the decision of Modi continuing in his two posts.

Party sources said that Modi got the support of 35 legislators out of the total of 67 who gave their preferences. Two legislators were absent during the 'secret ballot', which is seen as a legitimate tool to settle a dispute.

After his victory, Modi said the outcome was a "verdict" against forces inimical to the BJP-led NDA grouping.

Earlier, coming out of a meeting at the party headquarters here , Modi said the opinion of the legislators would be final and the party has employed democratic means to arrive at a decision.


"This is for the first time in its history BJP has gone for a secret ballot to arrive at an internal decision," a senior party leader told PTI.

The leader, who did not want to be identified, said the extraordinary measure could be touted by the party against Congress in the run up to the elections on the issue of internal democracy in political parties.

But, he warned that demands for 'secret ballot' could be made by other state units of BJP to test the majority support of leaders.

The saffron party had convened a meeting of the state MLAs and MLCs to arrive upon a decision after rebel legislators to Modi openly demanded his removal from the JD(U)-BJP coalition government.


"This is for the first time in its history BJP has gone for a secret ballot to arrive at an internal decision," a senior party leader told PTI.

The leader, who did not want to be identified, said the extraordinary measure could be touted by the party against Congress in the run up to the elections on the issue of internal democracy in political parties.

But, he warned that demands for 'secret ballot' could be made by other state units of BJP to test the majority support of leaders.

The saffron party had convened a meeting of the state MLAs and MLCs to arrive upon a decision after rebel legislators to Modi openly demanded his removal from the JD(U)-BJP coalition government.