After his revolt against elevation of Narendra Modi last month, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani on Thursday attended the first Parliamentary Board meeting along with the Gujarat chief minister to discuss the strategy for the next polls.
The meeting of the Parliamentary Board, the highest decision-making body of BJP, and the subsequent meeting of its members with party general secretaries discussed ways to take on the Congress-led government.
The issues that figured in these meetings included alleged "misuse" of CBI against the backdrop of probe report into Ishrat killing and government's decision to promulgate Ordinance on Food security.
"Ideas were invited and discussed by the party top brass from the general secretaries," a source said.
Sources said Advani gave suggestions on a couple of issues during the Board meeting and appeared to endorse the views expressed by Modi and others.
"His body language throughout the nearly three-hour meeting was positive," they said.
"We have unshackled ourselves from our internal problems. The issue is now to take on the Congress on issues of corruption, price rise, lack of economic growth and internal security," a party leader said.
The attendance of the meeting by the two leaders together assumes significance as Advani had revolted against Modi's appointment as Campaign Committee Chairman and resigned from all the party posts on June 10. He took it back after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat intervened.
Though the much-expected announcement of leaders who will be a part of the Election Campaign Committee was not announced on Thursday, Modi himself has begun the exercise to reach out to the people and party workers from different parts of the country.
Modi will address around 1,500 party workers of Bihar through video-conferencing tomorrow from Ahmedabad. He had conducted similar exercises successfully in Gujarat during the Assembly elections in December.
He will also be visiting Puri on July 16 to participate in a party programme and interact with BJP workers. The Gujarat chief minister was to visit Andhra Pradesh on July 27 for a similar exercise but is likely to postpone it to August due to the Panchayat elections in the state.
Modi's recent visit to Mumbai was also a part of the same plan of reaching out to prospective voters and workers.
"Who all are made a part of the Election Campaign Committee is immaterial. Modi's style of functioning is well-known. In Gujarat all the action is around him. Same will be the case with this committee," a leader said.
The BJP Parliamentary Board is meeting again on July 8 to discuss the plans of reaching out to the people ahead of the Assembly polls in five states and the Lok Sabha polls due in 2014.
In Thursday's meeting, the Parliamentary Board discussed the roadmap for the election campaign. A "vikas patra (development paper)" on the achievements of the erstwhile NDA government and an "aarop patra (charge sheet)" on the failures of the UPA government will be prepared and taken to the people.
Meetings with groups of workers from the booth level upwards will be held in phases by the central leaders.
The Parliamentary Board also expressed concern over the slow pace of relief and rescue operations in flood-affected Uttarakhand. "We demand that the government should take immediate steps to look for those still missing and to sanction Rs 5 lakh to the families of those who died in the floods," Kumar said.
Countrywide prayer meetings at tehsil and district levels will be organised for those who lost their lives. The party is also collecting funds from people for the victims.
Nitin Gadkari, who is on a visit to Norway, and Murli Manohar Joshi were not present in today's meeting.