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Rediff.com  » News » LS polls: Venkaiah, Jaitley, Jaswant not to contest

LS polls: Venkaiah, Jaitley, Jaswant not to contest

March 05, 2009 12:24 IST

Three top leaders of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  -- Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley and Jaswant Singh  -- will not contest the coming Lok Sabha elections and manage the party's election campaign instead.

This was disclosed by Naidu, who like Jaitley and Singh is currently a member of the Rajya Sabha. Earlier, BJP's prime-ministerial candidate L K Advani asked all the senior leaders to contest the election in view of the 2004 election results, when the party won seven seats less than the Congress.

Naidu said Jaitley would be the party's pointsman for coordinating the election campaign from Delhi.

BJP vice-presidents Naidu and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi have also reviewed arrangements for campaign strategies at the "election war room" located inside the party headquarters in New Delhi. This was the first meeting of the central election management committee, headed by Naidu and Naqvi, after the announcement of the Lok Sabha election.

Naqvi, who is likely to be party's nominee from the Rampur constituency in Uttar Pradesh, is in charge of the "war room", while Jaitley will coordinate the campaign.

The BJP has set up about a dozen committees to look after various aspects of electioneering. One of the committees will monitor the coverage of election by All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan to check misuse of the medium by the ruling alliance, while the other will prepare representations for the Election Commission in case of any grievance.

Yet another committee will monitor the media and give feedback to the leaders on the campaign trail about the key issues.

Naidu also said that the BJP was unhappy with the election dates for Assam, which were falling close to the annual harvest festival of Bihu. He said the party would approach the Election Commission to seek a change in the dates. Assam is going to the polls on April 16 and 23, while Bihu falls on April 14.

The BJP has set up about a dozen committees to look after various aspects of electioneering. One of the committees will monitor the coverage of election by All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan to check misuse of the medium by the ruling alliance, while the other will prepare representations for the Election Commission in case of any grievance.

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