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Joshi advises Guj dissidents to meet Advani

August 18, 2005 19:40 IST

In a surprise development, senior Bharatiya Janata P Leader Murli Manohar Joshi, a well-known critic of L K Advani, is understood to have advised Gujarat dissidents to meet the party president and seek redressal of their grievances.

While Joshi declined to speak to media after the dissidents led by former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel called on him, sources close to him said he was 'upset' that the rebels were meeting all leaders except Advani.

"Advani is the party president. Norms demand that they should meet him first before meeting other leaders as he can solve their problems. Joshi conveyed this strongly to the dissident leaders," the sources said.

While the dissidents claimed that senior party leader Yashwant Sinha and former Delhi strongman Madan Lal Khurana were present during the meeting with Joshi, the sources maintained that Sinha had come to meet Joshi in connection with the meeting of a party committee on parliamentary business scheduled for the evening.

Meanwhile, seeking to scotch speculation that the dissidents were deliberately avoiding Advani and meeting other party leaders, rebel legislator Nalin Bhatt, who is in the capital lobbying for leadership change, told PTI, "Advani is our national leader. There is no dissidence against him.

"In fact, we are going by the party hierarchy and will approach him at the end and hold the final rounds of talks with him."

However, key dissident leader Keshubbhai Patel left for Ahmedabad in the evening even as Bhatt and another dissident legislator Gordhan Zadafiya met party general secretary Arun Jaitley.

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