Parliamentary Board leaves out Vajpayee, Advani, Joshi

Carrying on with a generational shift of its leadership, the Bharatiya Janata Party dropped veteran leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi from its parliamentary Board, the party’s highest decision-making body, on Tuesday.

The three veterans, leading lights of the party for nearly four decades, were dropped from its central election committee too.

As a token gesture, they find place in a new five-member Margadarshak Mandal (guidance panel), along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. BJP media managers said the presence of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister on the panel proved it was a “high-powered” body, but conceded it was powerless.

Chouhan, Nadda on BJP board

Three-time Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and party general secretary J.P. Nadda are the new members of the parliamentary Board of the BJP. Party president Amit Shah will be the chairman of the all-powerful body.

Others on the 12-member Board are Mr. Modi; his Cabinet colleagues Mr. Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, M. Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar and Thawar Chand Gehlot; and Ramlal.

Mr. Chouhan and Mr. Nadda are also new entrants in the party’s central election committee. Among the notable exclusions from the panel is firebrand Uttar Pradesh leader Vinay Katiyar. The panel strength has been pruned from 18 to 15.

Mr. Shah will chair the election committee, too. The other members on the panel are Mr. Modi, Mr. Singh, Mr. Jaitley, Ms. Swaraj, Mr. Naidu, Mr. Gadkari, Mr. Kumar, Mr. Gehlot, Mr. Ramlal, Jual Oram, Shahnawaz Hussain and Mahila BJP chief Vijaya Rahatkar (ex-officio).

Reacting to the Congress charge that the BJP had relegated its seniors to an “old-peoples’ home,” Mr. Hussain, BJP spokesman, said, “Let the Congress bother about its seniors.”

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