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Will LK Advani address BJP's National Executive tomorrow?

PTI 02 Apr 2015, 21:54:22 PM IST

Bengaluru: On the eve of BJP's National Executive in Bengaluru, there were questions over whether party stalwart LK Advani will address the two-day conclave in keeping with the past practice from which he has deviated only once.

BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain evaded a direct reply to a volley of questions on this issue at a press conference here. He merely maintained that senior leaders like Advani will continue to "guide and bless" the party.

"Advani-ji will attend the meeting tomorrow. The party will receive guidance from all the senior leaders. They have been blessing us and we will continue to seek their guidance," Hussain said.

He declined to give a categorical answer when asked whether Advani will deliver the valedictory address as has been the practice ever since the party was founded in 1980. There are reports that Advani is not keen to speak even though party leaders want him to.

Advani had not attended the National Executive meet held in Goa in June 2013 as he was upset over moves to project Narendra Modi as the party's Campaign Committee chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

In his absence, the National Executive had gone ahead and named Modi as the Campaign Committee Chairman. This infuriated Advani further and he resigned from all party posts a day after the conclave ended on June 8. He was later persuaded by party leaders to withdraw his resignation.

The National Executive here will open with an address by party President Amit Shah, who chaired the meeting of office-bearers today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also address the meet.

After Modi confidante Shah took over as the party chief, Advani and a few other senior leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi were made members of the party's largely ceremonial 'Margdarshak Mandal' and have not played much of an active role in party affairs since then.