New Delhi: The former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Thursday gave his approval to Bharatiya Janata Party chief Rajnath Singh's new team. The development came even as a row appeared to brew over the exclusion of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from the Parliamentary Board and Arun Jaitley as chief spokesman.

"It [Rajnath Singh's team] was formed after a lot of thought," Mr. Vajpayee told journalists here. "All such notions are false," he remarked when asked whether the new set-up had triggered disaffection within the party.

"There was balance. And balance will be there [again] after criticism," he said.

In his comments earlier in the day, BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said Mr. Singh had held wide consultations with both Mr. Vajpayee and senior party leader L.K. Advani before constituting his team.

"It is the prerogative of the party president to appoint the national executive and office-bearers, but he [Mr. Singh] held wide consultations with the seniors [Mr. Vajpayee and Mr. Advani] and colleagues before constituting the team," Mr. Javadekar said.

His observations came as reports spoke of Mr. Modi being angry with Mr. Singh's decision.

Mr. Singh's move to drop Mr. Jaitley as spokesman came a month after his warning to party colleagues that they should exercise restraint while speaking to the media. PTI