Jaitley stays away from BJP election meet

Just four weeks ahead of General Elections, the crisis in BJP intensified today with party general secretary and chief strategist for the elections, Arun Jaitley, deciding to skip the second CEC meeting over the issue of appointment of Delhi businessman Sudhanshu Mittal as central election committee member in-charge of the Northeast. Listen to podcastaudio

india Updated: Mar 17, 2009 18:20 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Arun Jaitley on Tuesday skipped another crucial meeting of the party's central election committee, apparently miffed over the appointment of Sudhanshu Mittal as co-coordinator for the north-eastern states.

Though the meeting to decide on party candidates began around noon, Jaitley had not arrived till one and a half hours later. This is the second meeting of central election committee meeting that he has missed. He skipped the March 13 meet, throwing the fissures in the BJP out in the open.

The key strategist has been reportedly unhappy ever since party president Rajnath Singh appointed Mittal as the co-coordinator for the Lok Sabha election in north-eastern states. Many believe Jaitley is fighting a proxy war against Singh, though the BJP has been denying that there is any rift.

The Tuesday meeting is being attended by Rajnath Singh and senior leaders LK Advani, Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj, and M Venkaiah Naidu, among others.

First Published: Mar 17, 2009 12:26 IST