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Atal busy, party drops rally ritual

Raipur, July 18: The BJP has dumped its custom of holding a public rally during its national executive meeting, whose latest session kicked off here today.

The party gave up the idea of the rally, earlier scheduled for tomorrow, as Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee might skip the last day of the meeting on Sunday. According to information available, Vajpayee will fly back to Delhi tomorrow to prepare for Parliament’s monsoon session, beginning Monday. Sources close to him insisted they had no idea about a public meeting.

Instead, over 10,000 party workers will gather in the Chhattisgarh capital on Sunday to hear deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu and other top leaders.

The karyakarta sammelan (workers’ meeting) has been billed as an amended version of a public rally with the press being told in Delhi there would be a “massive” show of strength tomorrow. Chhattisgarh is one of the five states headed for polls in November.

Vajpayee may escape the meeting early, but his platter is full as the executive has to pilot two important resolutions. The first is on Ayodhya and the second on women’s reservation in Parliament and Assemblies. The executive is expected to brainstorm until late tonight so that Vajpayee can clear the resolutions.

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