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Updated: September 1, 2009 09:17 IST

Advani’s meeting with Speaker triggers speculation

Neena Vyas
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L K Advani. File Photo: PTI
L K Advani. File Photo: PTI

With the departure of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat from here for Hardwar, the focus in the Bharatiya Janata Party has shifted to tackling the after-effects of the tremors it felt over the last couple of weeks.

L.K. Advani met Speaker Meira Kumar setting off speculation that the visit may have something to do with his resignation as Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. However, sources in Mr. Advani’s office made it clear that he had called on the Speaker only at her invitation for tea. “It was not about what the press is thinking,” said an official in his office.

Separately, the two deputy leaders of the BJP, Sushma Swaraj in the Lok Sabha and S.S. Ahluwalia in the Rajya Sabha, called on the expelled leader Jaswant Singh at his residence here on Monday. Again, there was not a word, officially, from the party or Mr. Singh’s office.

Unofficially it was hinted that the meeting was to “persuade and request” Mr. Singh to resign as chairman of the prestigious Public Accounts Committee to pave the way for the party to have its own nominee. The indication was that Mr. Singh refused to entertain the thought — he said so on record a few days ago that he was fit and not mentally unstable and would be able to do full justice to the job, and that he was not thinking of resigning. “Why should I,” he asked.

However, party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad made it clear that there was no rethinking in the BJP on the summary expulsion of Mr. Singh.

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