New Delhi, Aug 26 :
In a move marking the end of an era of stalwarts like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, the BJP Tuesday came up with a list of its highest decision-making body, the parliamentary board, which excluded the seniors.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) instead included the seniors in a separate group, the ‘Margdarshak Mandal’ (guiding committee), which it said will guide the party.
The parliamentary board will now be headed by BJP president Amit Shah, and marked the entry of J.P. Nadda and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the core group.
The guiding group includes Vajpayee, Advani and Joshi as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Modi and Rajnath Singh are also in the parliamentary board.
“Party president Amit Shah has constituted a ‘margdarshak’ committee with veteran party leaders as its members for guiding party activities,” an official release said.
Congress leader Rashid Alvi dismissed it as an “old age home” for leaders.
BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, however, said the guiding committee was not a permanent committee. “It’s a temporary committee,” he said.
The constitution of the BJP does not have any provision for such a group and the parliamentary board remains the highest decision-making body, party sources said.
The sources said Joshi was informed about the decision by Modi himself, while Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu informed Advani.
The other members of the 12-member parliamentary board are Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, M. Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar, Thawar Chand Gehlot and Ramlal.
The central election committee of the party was also announced Tuesday.
It has Shah as its chief, and includes Modi, Rajnath Singh, Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Naidu, Gadkari, Chouhan and Shahnawaz Hussain.
Talking to reporters in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Chouhan, however, stressed that Advani “remains the guiding light for the whole party”.