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BJP may wind up CEC tomorrow if Jaitely stays away from meet

PTI  New Delhi, March 16, 2009
First Published: 21:55 IST(16/3/2009) | Last Updated: 12:58 IST(17/3/2009)

The rift in the BJP between its president Rajnath Singh and senior leader Arun Jaitley showed no signs of healing tonight and the party's Central Election Committee (CEC) could be the first casualty amid speculation that it may be wound up.

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As RSS intervened to ensure that the Singh-Jaitley stalemate did not give new worries to the BJP before the polls, sources close to Jaitley said the lawyer-turned politician is unlikely to attend Tuesday's CEC meeting till businessman Sudhanshu Mittal is removed as BJP's co-convenor of North East region. Jaitley has been gunning for Mittal.

Singh also had a meeting with BJP's prime ministerial candidate LK Advani in the night where the stalemate is understood to have figured.

Advani has insisted there was no rift in the party.

"This issue may make a good story for you but there are no differences within the party," Advani told reporters in New Delhi.

Party sources said the BJP may wind up the CEC tomorrow itself after it authorises Advani to finalise the party's remaining Lok Sabha candidates. Roughly 100 nominees are yet to be declared.

Party sources said the authorisation could be given to Advani along with party chief Rajnath Singh and the meeting would be held in Advani's residence.

Advani had to convene a separate meeting at his residence on Friday to finalise candidates of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh as Jaitley kept himself away from the CEC meet.

Mittal however attended a key meeting of the party in New Delhi at the party headquarters to decide upon the seats for Assam.


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