Top BJP brass skip J’khand

The top BJP leadership gathered at the residence of senior party leader and Bhagalpur MP Shahnawaz Hussain to celebrate Id while only a handful of partymen went to Jharkhand to attend the swearing-in ceremony of BJP chief minister Arjun Munda.

Differences have surfaced between BJP parliamentary party chairman L.K. Advani and party chief Nitin Gadkari over the party’s decision to form government in Jharkhand by joining hands with the JMM. Former BJP president Rajnath Singh was among those who went to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
The presence of the BJP’s chief spokesperson, Rajya Sabha MP Ravishankar Prasad, at the ceremony was described as a “necessity” due to the forthcoming Bihar Assembly elections.
The party’s top leadership, from Mr L.K. Advani to Mr Arun Jaitley and Mr Kalraj Mishra, among others, were present at the lunch hosted by Mr Hussain on Saturday. When asked about staying away from the swearing-in ceremony, it was said that since this was the day of Id and Ganesh Chaturthi, the leaders were expecting “a string of visitors”.
Party chief Nitin Gadkari, who is in Nagpur to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, sent a congratulatory message to Mr Munda and “hoped that the newly formed government will deliver”. Mr Gadkari wrote: “I congratulate you on my behalf as well as on behalf of the BJP rank and file throughout the country on being sworn in as chief minister of Jharkhand.”
He added that it was his “keen desire to be present at your swearing-in today, but due to Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at my house in Nagpur I am unable to join other senior BJP leaders in sharing the party’s success in ending President’s Rule.”
While Mr Gadkari congratulated Mr Munda, there was complete silence from Mr Advani’s camp. Interestingly, for the first time, the BJP did not even hold a routine briefing to celebrate the formation of the government. When asked to comment on the formation of the Jharkhand government, Mr Advani evaded the issue and instead wished the media a happy Id and Ganesh Chaturthi.
Mr Gadkari also stated that the “BJP has always insisted on striving to give a high quality governance in the states it is ruling. I am confident that your government will offer a government that delivers to the people of Jharkhand.”

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