There was a sense of disbelief and dismay among the hordes of Delhi-based correspondents and BJP leaders, who had gathered at the airport to catch the 2 pm flight to New Delhi, as television channels began flashing news about the virtual revolt by BJP patriarch L.K. Advani.

The initial response of the leaders was one of shock. But they were quick to point out to eager journalists that it would have little impact on the morale of the party rank and file which was fired up by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s appointment as chairman of the election campaign committee.

Some Goa BJP leaders appeared jolted by the turn of events. North Goa MP Sripad Naik told The-Hindu that Mr. Advani’s decision would have serious repercussions for the BJP and for the country’s polity, considering his seniority and long innings in politics.

Did he feel that the decision to elevate Mr. Modi was hasty? “From Advaniji’s reaction now, it looks like there was haste in taking the decision,” the former Union Minister of State said. He hoped Mr. Advani would take back his resignation. “May be Advaniji was hurt at the way the decision [on Modi] was taken in Goa.”

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, a Modi-camp leader who had openly urged the party to indicate who would be its prime ministerial candidate, was not accessible for comment.

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