No rift in party at top level on leadership issue: BJP

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New Delhi, Jan 3: Rubbishing speculation of a rift at the top level, the BJP today said senior leader L K Advani will lead the party in the next Lok Sabha elections and party President Rajnath Singh's role would be to 'supplement' his efforts in the most challenging task after the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections.

Talking to mediapersons while clearing the air regarding problems betweeen Mr Advani and Mr Singh following the appointment of Mr Om Mathur as Rajasthan BJP President, BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the party president had himself announced that Mr Advani will steer the party in the next Lok Sabha elections and any suggestions or speculation indicating towards any misunderstanding between them was ''illusionary and imaginary''.

There have been news reports stating that Mr Mathur had been entrusted with the responsibility as Rajasthan party President against the wishes of Mr Advani and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

The spokesperson declined comment on that the Chief Minister had offered to resign in protest against the removal of Mr Mahesh Sharma as state BJP President.

Meanwhile, Ms Raje, who was here in Delhi, left for Jaipur as BJP President was in Karnataka to attend an election rally in Raichur.

Referring to the Congress claim that their party would do well in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh after it received a drubbing in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, Mr Rudy said the party seemed to have forgotten that they also had a government in Delhi, which will also to go to the polls next year.

''This is an admission that they have already lost the Delhi Government,'' he said, recalling how Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had conceded defeat in Gujarat even before the elections when he had said that the BJP had projected Mr Advani as Prime Ministerial candidate fearing that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi would stake claim at national level after the state polls.


UNI

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