The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Meet put off for Modi moment

New Delhi, Dec. 16: Narendra Modi’s victory has caused the BJP to reschedule its national executive slated to be held on December 22 and 23.

Since Modi will be sworn in as Gujarat chief minister on December 22, the party executive will now meet on December 23 and 24. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and the BJP brass is expected to attend the function in Gandhinagar to celebrate a major victory — the party’s first in a long time.

Flush with the Gujarat success, the two-day meeting is expected to review in detail the performance and go into the regional variations as many seats were lost in Kutch and Saurashtra, which were its strongholds.

BJP sources said the meeting would also assess the role played by second-rung leaders in ensuring the Gujarat victory. It was the first big election in which veterans like Kushabhau Thakre, Kailashpati Mishra and Pyarelal Khandelwal — the pracharaks who formed the organisational backbone, as it were — were kept out.

BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley, Modi’s closest confidant, oversaw the exercise despite a note of scepticism expressed by none other than Vajpayee.

The Prime Minister, sources said, had wondered aloud if the “inexperienced” Jaitley could pull it off.

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