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Advani quits, Rajnath takes over

However, Advani will continue to be Leader of Oppossition in Lok Sabha. Can Rajnath lift BJP's sagging morale?

india Updated: Jan 01, 2006 11:27 IST

LK Advani on Saturday stepped down as the BJP President. He will be succeeded by senior leader and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Rajnath Singh.

Rajnath will take over as the new party chief on January 2.

This was Advani's third stint as BJP President. He took the charge last year. However, he will remain the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, the party said.

The veteran leader said he had sent his resignation to senior Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, which has been accepted.

"I had announced at the Chennai meeting of the BJP National Executive that I will step down as President. I have done so," Advani said addressing a press conference.

Advani said there had been consultations within the party after his decision to step down in which Rajnath Singh's name was finalised as the new president.

"I present to you Rajnath Singh, the new BJP President and extend my best wishes to him," Advani said.

Advani garlanded Rajnath and offered him sweets. He expressed confidence that under his leadership, the party will touch new heights.

Describing Singh as a dedicated worker, Advani said he had displayed his administrative abilities as a Minister in Uttar Pradesh, as Chief Minister of the state and as a Minister in the Vajpayee Government. "He is a popular leader and under his leadership, the party will grow by leaps and bounds," he said.

Advani said the party faced difficulties and these were not due to the shortcomings of the party or the ideology but due to the "behaviour and conduct of some of our own colleagues."

While the IQ of some leaders were very high, their EQ (Emotional Quotient) was very low and the difficulties arose because of them, he added.

He said equally important was MQ (Moral Quotient) and SQ (Spiritual Quotient).

First Published: Dec 31, 2005 11:29 IST