Turmoil in BJP: Jaitley, Swaraj meet Bhagwat and Advani | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Turmoil in BJP: Jaitley, Swaraj meet Bhagwat and Advani

delhi Updated: Aug 29, 2009 00:51 IST

With senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani in the eye of a storm over revelations on the Kandahar episode, speculation on change in the party leadership built up when four BJP leaders, including Arun Jaitley, met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Advani on Friday evening.

The four senior BJP leaders, Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Ananth Kumar and Venkaiah Naidu, went to meet Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat after the latter's press conference and then met Advani. The meeting was described as a courtesy call.

RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav confirmed that the four met Bhagwat at the RSS headquarters in Jhandewalan here just after his media conference during which he expressed unhappiness at the infighting in the BJP and asked the party to pull up its socks.

"These leaders have come to meet Bhagwatji," Madhav told IANS.

Later, the four went to meet Advani.

Emerging from the meeting, Naidu told reporters that there was nothing unusual about the visit.

"We had come to meet Advaniji; we meet regularly, and all this is your speculation," Naidu told reporters when asked whether the BJP had taken a decision on leadership change.

Bhagwat, referring to his recent suggestion that a younger leadership take over the reins of the BJP, said in the press conference: "Fifty to sixty years is the average age for the Sangh leadership and it's for the political party (BJP) to decide what should be the right age for it."

In what was seen as a reference to the 82-year-old Advani, Bhagwat had said in a recent interview to Times Now television that there was need for a younger leadership to take charge of the party.

Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Brajesh Mishra, who was national security advisor in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government, have said that Advani was in the know of the terrorist-hostage swap during the 1999 IC-814 Indian Airlines hijack.

Advani has all along maintained that he was not aware of the decision to free three terrorists, including Maulana Masood Azhar, and swap them for the 160 hostages though he was home minister then.