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BJP deadlock hits another roadblock
September 11, 2005 14:57 IST
In a setback to the ongoing efforts to break the logjam in the Bharatiya Janata Party, caused by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's public criticism of Madan Lal Khurana's expulsion, the latter has been served with a formal expulsion order. This indicates a hardening of stand on the part of party chief, L K Advani.
An apparently upset Khurana who received the letter signed by BJP general secretary (organisation) Sanjay Joshi late Saturday night, rushed to Vajpayee's residence early on Sunday to register his protest.
"It's clear that a section of BJP is against me. It is a matter of concern that the letter has been served on me when talks were on and Vajpayee had expressed his reservations about the decision," he told reporters, emerging from the 90-
Claiming that it was Vajpayee who had called him for talks, Khurana said that when the letter had already been withheld for 48 hours, it could have been delayed further as well.
He, however, said he had total faith in Vajpayee, who had issued a public statement on September 8 saying Khurana should have been given one more opportunity to explain his stand.
As Khurana left, party general secretary, Pramod Mahajan, who has been mediating between Vajpayee and Advani, called on the former prime minister prior to his departure for Lucknow. Advani is currently in Madhya Pradesh.
The latest salvo from the Advani camp has deepened further the crisis in the party even as efforts were being made over the past two days to defuse it.
While Vajpayee has been reportedly sticking to the stand that a senior leader like Khurana should have been given an opportunity to explain himself prior to his expulsion on grounds of indiscipline and anti-party activities, Advani is understood to have taken a tough stand that any compromise on the issue of discipline would send a wrong signal to the party cadres.
The issue is expected to figure prominently at Monday's meeting of party office-bearers here, initially called to discuss resolutions for the national executive meeting in Chennai next week.