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Bangaru Laxman wants LK Advani out

Laxman, who quit as party chief after being accused of accepting bribe, has set a grim tone for the BJP national executive meeting.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2005 13:33 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President LK Advani, whose leadership has been under constant attack in recent months, suffered a setback on Friday with a call for his replacement by former party chief Bangaru laxman as the party began a three-day conclave.

Laxman, who quit as party chief after being accused of accepting bribe, set a grim tone for the BJP national executive meeting as he revived the demand for a change of leadership in the party, saying that Advani should quit in favour of a second-generation leader.

"Advani should go. The party should look for a new second-generation leader," he told a TV channel, stating that a party chief needed to take everybody along.

Laxman's remarks come hours ahead of the opening session of executive meeting on Friday afternoon.

He has accused Advani of surrounding himself with a "coterie" -- echoing senior BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana's accusations that had kicked up a row recently.

Khurana had attacked Advani's style of functioning as being "autocratic," and guided by advisers sitting in air-conditioned rooms.

The former Delhi chief minister was expelled from the party for six years but was taken back at the behest of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Khurana's primary membership has been restored, but he has been stripped of all his positions in the party to send the message across that indiscipline would not be tolerated by the party.

Laxman's attack on Advani is a sure sign of a leadership tussle that refuses to subside and appears set to dominate the show at the national executive meet.

First Published: Sep 16, 2005 13:27 IST