New Delhi, Aug.29 (ANI): Leader of Opposition L. K. Advani and other leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not discussion a succession plan, as was being projected in the media, said a party spokesman on Saturday.
Prakash Javadekar told a press conference that the BJP's parent organization - the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) had not chalked out a succession plan on Friday, and neither had the BJP leadership discussed the issue at Saturday's meeting at Advani's residence in the national capital.
'No succession plan was discussed. No change in leadership or posts was discussed," Javadekar, adding that over the past couple of days, the RSS had only come forward with suggestions that could "Pave the way for a more smooth functioning of the BJP".
Reacting to the comments that were being aired in the media by expelled party leader Jaswant Singh against the BJP and its present leadership, Javadekar said:
"We continue to respect Jaswant Singh even after his comments. We don't want to say anything. But the fact of the matter is that if a leader who once belonged to the BJP and spoke well of it while he was a member for years, now chooses to criticize its policies on the hour, the people will realize soon enough who is right and who is wrong."
Jaswant Singh has been targeting Advani on the latter's views on Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and his role in the 1999 Kandahar hijack case and the July 2008 Cash for Vote scam.
Javadekar's statement to the media came as Advani arrived at the RSS's Delhi headquarters - Keshavkunj - for a meeting with its chief Mohan Bhagwat.
The meeting is taking place amid reports that the RSS has readied a succession plan for the BJP, a plan that could facilitate an end to the internal crisis ravaging the party's rank and file.
The RSS is believed to have told the BJP leadership to set its house in order. In a sign that this is being given serious thought, top brass of the BJP met at Advani's residence this morning for about two hours and briefed him about their discussions with Bhagwat on Friday.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj had joined other party colleagues - Arun Jaitely, Ananth Kumar and M.Venkaiah Naidu at the residence of Advani to reportedly discuss a viable succession plan.
It is reliably learnt that though there are no immediate changes in the top leadership, a succession plan is being readied after discussions with the RSS on Friday night.
Sources said that the RSS has firmly asked BJP leaders to end infighting in the party and reach a consensus on a new party chief.
The decision to call Jaitley and Swaraj together to a meeting at the RSS headquarters is seen as very significant, as they are the leading contenders for the party leadership, sparking speculation that a power-sharing arrangement might have been arrived at.
Jaitley looks the front-runner for the party chief's job while Swaraj is tipped to take over from Advani as Leader of Opposition. If implemented, the party could see Naidu becoming Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, a post currently held by Jaitley.
The RSS has felt that if the factionalism is not quickly resolved, the issue could prolong till the end of the year. (ANI)