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BJP directs Koshiyari to withdraw resignation

Last updated on: June 18, 2009 23:11 IST
The problem in Bharatiya Janata Party's Uttarakhand unit triggered by former chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari who resigned from Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, appeared to have been resolved with the sulking leader agreeing to withdraw it on Thursday.

After meeting party President Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Thursday evening, Koshiyari, who is to meet Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on Friday, declined to disclose what he proposes to do on the party's plea to take back his resignation, his close associate Trivendra Singh Rawat told PTI.

"Koshiyari has agreed to withdraw his resignation as per Rajnathji's directive," Rawat said. The meeting between Koshiyari and Rajnath Singh was also attended by Rawat, BJP Vice President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Ramlal Aggarwal, General Secretary (Organisation) Vijay Goel and some MLAs from Uttarakhand.

"The party has directed Koshiyari to withdraw his resignation from the Rajya Sabha. The party central leadership accepted his offer to work for resurrecting BJP in Uttarakhand but felt he should continue as a member of the upper house while doing so," Naqvi told PTI after the meeting.

Koshiyari, for his part, refused to say what he plans to do on the party's directive to withdraw his resignation saying,  "There are still more than eight hours to go before I meet the chairman of the Rajya Sabha. I will take a final call on whether I will withdraw my resignation after thinking over the issue."

Koshiyari submitted his resignation on Wednesday, apparently to build pressure for removal of B C Khanduri as the Chief minister of Uttarakhand.

He has been called by the Rajya Sabha chairman on Friday to discuss his resignation as per the convention where resignation is accepted only after a meeting with the MP.

BJP sources said Thursday's decision meant the central leadership wanted to maintain status quo under which Khanduri would continue as the CM, while Koshiyari would be in the Rajya Sabha.

Earlier in the day, Khanduri met Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha leaders in Nagpur and later told mediapersons that he was not stepping down from the post of chief minister.

He said there was no threat to his government in the wake of resignation of Koshiyari who should have first discussed the issue with party leaders.

About dissidence activities in the party and demand for his own removal from chief ministership, Khanduri said, "This is not a new thing and it happens in a democracy."

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