Stunned by party patriarch L K Advani's decision to quit key posts, BJP's top decision-making body Parliamentary Board tonight rejected his resignation, insisting that the party needs his "guidance more than ever before".
The Board held an urgent meeting at the residence of party chief Rajnath Singh hours after Advani resigned from Parliamentary Board, National Executive and Election Committee to protest Narendra Modi being made Campaign Committee chief.
The Board passed a resolution unanimously rejecting Advani's resignation. Soon after, senior leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Ananth Kumar and Ravi Shankar Prasad went to meet Advani to inform him about the Parliamentary Board decision.
"BJP Parliamentary Board has decided to reject the resignation of L K Advani," Singh said after the two-hour meeting.
"Shri L K Advani, in a letter, sent to me resigned from the Parliamentary Board, National Executive and Election Committee. Ever since the inception of the BJP and the Jana Sangh, he has been there as a leader and guide. That role belongs to him and today the party and nation needs him to be there more than ever before," the resolution said.
The resolution was read out by Rajnath Singh in presence of Swaraj, Jaitley, Kumar and Prasad.
Singh said only six of 12 members of the Parliamentary Board were present at the meeting. Four members, including Modi, could not come at such a short notice, he said.
Others absent at the meeting were Murli Manohar Joshi, Thavarchand Gehlot and Nitin Gadkari.
"They have also supported the decision taken by the Parliamentary Board to reject the resignation. They have also talked to Advaniji to request him to take back his resignation," he said.
"As a Party president, I have decided that under no condition, I will accept his resignation," Singh said.