Sushil Modi to continue as Bihar Deputy Chief Minister

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New Delhi, Jun 8 (UNI) The BJP top brass today decided to retain party leader Sushil Modi as Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and leader of the state Legislature Party after eliciting the views of its MLAs, party sources said.

A decision to this effect was taken by the BJP leadership after senior party leaders M Venkaiah Naidu and Sushma Swaraj submitted their report. Earlier in the day, they had obtained the views of 67 MLAs and MLCs from the state at the BJP headquarters in light of the dissident camp openly airing complaints against Mr Modi's style of functioning.

''Two more legislators had expressed their views in writing and they favoured no change in the leadership,'' a senior leader said.

No decision had been taken even after the Parliamentary Board, the party's apex decision making body, met here twice recently to consider the complaints against Mr Modi's style of functioning by dissident legislators who made strong attempts to draw the attention of the party leadership towards their grievances.

As per the decision of the party, the two leaders obtained the views of Bihar MLAs and even gave them slips to understand their preference. ''The Legislators have said no to the change of leadership and the party leaders too have accepted it,'' a senior leader said.

Mr Naidu and Ms Swaraj submitted their report to BJP President Rajnath Singh and BJP stalwart L K Advani after which the decision was made, the sources said.

With the retention of Mr Modi, the party seems to have gone with the view that it could not afford any change in the leadership at present. The party could not take chances with the coalition headed by the Janata Dal (United) in Bihar where it hopes to make deep inroads in the Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held in less than a year's time.

Mr Naidu and Ms Swaraj told the Bihar legislators about the need to keep the party's unity intact and achieve the bigger goal of bringing back the BJP and the NDA rule at the Centre. The legislators were also assured that their grievances would be sorted out amicably.

With this the party seems to have stemmed the rebellion that seemed to threaten its very important base in the cow belt where the party is playing the second fiddle to its NDA ally. The dissidents had accused Mr Modi of surrendering the party's interests to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his party.

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