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Advani, Sushma skip BJP rally

May 25, 2012 - Mumbai

Sushma Swaraj and Lal Krishna Advani were the most notable absentees from Bhartiya Janata Party's (BJP) customary public meeting that followed the two-day National Executive here, fanning speculations of a growing rift within the party.

The BJP spokespersons, however, sought to downplay their absence saying the two had prior engagements and their absence was known well in advance.

"Advani's schedule was fixed earlier so he won't be there and Swaraj has to attend a programme in Ghaziabad tomorrow morning," party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

During separate briefings, BJP leaders Gopinath Munde and Ravi Shankar Prasad sought to project a united picture saying that the party had announced earlier that Advani would not be present at the rally and, therefore, nothing should be read into the absence.

The high profile absence is being seen as an apparent sign of their displeasure over the second term for Gadkari and growing influence of Modi.

Interestingly, Advani was not present on Thursday at the National Executive when the resolution to amend the party constitution to allow a second term to Gadkari was passed.

It may be recalled here that Advani, who has been a part of the BJP's political strategy for the last 60 years, has never skipped a meet.


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