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Uma missing from Advani's new team

Last updated on: October 30, 2004 15:11 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party president Lal Kishenchand Advani on Saturday constituted a fresh team of party office-bearers, but did not include former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti -- who was tipped to be a general secretary -- in it.

Advani retained most of the incumbents and included Karnataka unit chief Ananth Kumar.

Haryana MP Kishan Singh Sangwan was made vice-president apparently in view of the coming assembly elections.

Former Rajasthan governor Madan Lal Khurana, who resigned recently to rejoin active politics, found a place in the national executive along with Kailashpati Mishra, who was removed by the government as Gujarat governor under its "detoxification" drive.

Other notable inclusions in the national executive as members or special invitees were Varun Gandhi, former Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson Najma Heptulla (both joined the BJP recently), former Delhi Lt Governor Vijai Kapoor and former minister Arif Mohammad Khan.

Bharti, who had to quit after a Karnataka court issued an arrest warrant against her in a 10-year-old rioting case, was excluded at the last moment as she reportedly had reservations about her party rival from MP, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, being retained as general secretary.

Bharti, however, was included as a member of the national executive.

She was also reportedly against the inclusion of Pramod Mahajan in the team, alleging that he had not cooperated during her 'Tiranga Yatra' in Maharashtra.

The party, however, maintained that Bharti had excused herself out citing that she wanted to continue with her "vacation".

"Her name was dropped late last night," a party leader said.

Advani left one post each of vice-president and general secretary vacant.

Party vice-president and spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who released the list, said the posts would be filled up soon.

Naqvi, along with former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh and former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi, was among those retained as vice-presidents.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, an aide to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, was included as one of the nine secretaries along with Andhra Pradesh leader Bandaru Dattatraya and Om Mathur from Rajasthan.

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