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Advani plans exit policy

BJP President LK Advani clearly indicated, for the first time, that he wished to step down by December after the BJP's silver jubilee and the Bihar elections.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2005 15:40 IST

L.K. Advani will quit as BJP president. But when? This was the million dollar question as Advani went into a huddle with a select group of leaders at the BJP conclave here on Saturday.

Advani clearly indicated, for the first time, that he wished to step down by December, not be cause of pressure from rivals or the RSS, but after the BJP's silver jubilee and the Bihar elections.

The only question before him now was whether he should announce his decision on Sunday before he wound up the party's na tional executive or wait till December as he had earlier planned.

Advani got two sets of advice from "well-wishers" throughout the day. One was that he should end all confusion in the party with a Sunday announcement. The other was he wait till December.

Votaries of the second view argued that an announcement now would turn him into a lame duck president during the Bihar polls, on which the NDA has pinned high hopes. Those for an immediate announcement said that like A.B. Vajpayee, Advani did not need a post.

In any case, Advani would make up his mind by Saturday night.

First Published: Sep 30, 2005 15:19 IST