A day ahead of the budget session that begins Monday, the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) elected senior BJP leader L K Advani as its “working chairman”. Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav will be the convener.
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who retried from active politics and has not been keeping well, will continue as the chairman of the BJP-led coalition.
Advani’s election was on the cards after he stepped down as the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha in favour of Sushma Swaraj in December in what was said to be a “generational change” in the BJP.
Yadav has been serving as the acting NDA convener ever since senior party colleague George Fernandes took ill. With Fernandes still in need of medical attention, Yadav’s election had become necessary.
At a meeting, the NDA leaders adopted a resolution electing him the working chairman till Vajpayee’s recovery.
During a meeting of alliance’s floor leaders in both the Houses on Sunday, Yadav moved a resolution proposing Advani’s name, BJP’s deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha S S Ahluwalia said. Shiv Sena’s Manohar Joshi, Shiromani Akali Dal’s Naresh Gujral and BJP president Nitin Gadkari seconded it.
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj proposed Yadav’s name for convener. Joshi, Gujral and Gadkari backed it.