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Advani wants honourable exit

June 10, 2005 12:23 IST

The stage is set for an intense power struggle at the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting, slated for 1800 IST, to consider party president Lal Kishenchand Advani's resignation.

Advani resigned on Tuesday after the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and other organisations criticised him for parising Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Though the party has finalised a fresh resolution hailing Advani's Pakistan visit as historic, to assuage his hurt sentiments while stressing on the RSS views on Jinnah, the meeting is expected to be stormy with senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi throwing in his hat and opposing Advani's remarks in Pakistan.

While Advani loyalists hope that he would withdraw his resignation, his aides indicated that the former deputy prime minister would hand over the mantle either to M Venkiah Naidu or Jaswant Singh.

"He only wanted an honourable exit through a modified resolution, which would hail the achievements of his Pakistan visit," said a leader close to him.

With the RSS asserting it would not compromise on its basic ideology, hardliners led by Murli Manohar Joshi are expected to adopt a tough posture at the meeting, sources said.

Denying there was any power struggle within the party, a senior leader said "we are a democratic party, all the issues have been resolved and the picture will be clear this evening."

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