Kulkarni's exit will not affect BJP: Balbir Punj

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New Delhi, Aug.23 (ANI): BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj on Sunday said that Sudheendra Kulkarni's move to leave would not affect the party

Describing Kulkarni as a "valuable colleague", Punj said: "If Kulkarni feels that he is uncomfortable in BJP and he has taken a decision to leave the party, well, that is his decision. This decision of his is not going to affect the BJP."

Another BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said Kulkarni has not been a member of the BJP since 2005.

"He was associated with election-related work. The whole election mechanism was wound up immediately after the Lok Sabha polls by party president Rajnath Singh," he told a private television channel.

Kulkarni, an IIT graduate and a columnist, was national secretary of BJP when Advani was the party president. However, he resigned in 2005 in the wake the controversial statement made by Advani in Pakistan, where he described Mohammad Ali Jinnah as "secular".

That speech of Advani was reportedly written by Kulkarni. But Kulkarni continued to serve the party through his close association with Advani. He had served as director and later as an Officer on Special Duty in the PMO under Vajpayee.

During the recent Lok Sabha elections, Kulkarni was active in the election campaign management and was even seen defending the party on news channels and through his columns.

However, he embarrassed the BJP soon after the poll results when he wrote a piece in a magazine where he took a very critical view of the party's election campaign strategy. He even stated that Advani had failed to assert himself during crucial times in the course of the campaign.

The party had distanced itself from his views when senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj described Kulkarni as an "independent journalist" who was free to air his opinion.

She had said the views expressed by him in the article were not that of the party. Since then, Kulkarni has been virtually inactive within the BJP. (ANI)

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