Senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu denied media reports that Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha L.K. Advani or the party president Rajnath Singh would step down from their posts and asserted that no debate had taken place in the organisation on leadership change.
Addressing journalists , he described media reports as “speculative and imaginary.” He maintained that Mr. Advani, agreed to become leader of the BJP Parliamentary Party in the 15th Lok Sabha following pressure from the party leaders as also from the rank and file. Mr. Advani would continue to be leader of the party. Similarly, there was no vacancy for party president’s post. Organisational polls would be held soon following which elections for the president’s post would be conducted.
Mr. Naidu also made it clear that he was not in the race for any post as the party had given him every opportunity.
‘RSS does not intervene’
The BJP leader said the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) does not interfere in the “day-to-day affairs” of the party or decide leadership issues. The party conducts itself independently and decisions are taken after thorough consultation in the organisation. There would be exchange of views on issues of mutual interest.
On the suggestion of RSS Chief, Mohan Bhagwat for “generational change” in the party, Mr. Naidu said that he did not want to interpret what Mr. Bhagwat had stated. But, Mr. Bhagwat had emphasised the need for bringing more youth and “we are doing it.” On the question of who would lead BJP in the 2014 elections, he said the next elections would be fought by a “youthful leader,” he added.
Admitting that the party was facing problems in the aftermath of Lok Sabha elections and expulsion of Jaswant Singh, he said BJP had the capacity and calibre to overcome them.
On All-India Congress Committee spokesperson A.M.Singhvi’s demand for an apology from Mr. Advani on cash-for-vote scam, Mr. Naidu demanded the Congress to first explain how it had manipulated a minority government into a majority and if it was ready for a judicial probe to unearth the truth.