Modi could replace LK Advani as NDA chairman

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Narendra Modi is all set to take total control of the government and the NDA if the BJP comes to power at the Centre. Modi is likely to replace party patriarch LK Advani as NDA chairman. At this juncture, while Advani is the working chairman, the then PM, Atal Behari Vajpayee, who has been bed ridden for years remains the chairman of the NDA.

Advani is expected to be removed as the working chairman of the NDA since Modi is against having two power centres in the government, sources said. As PM he will also be the leader of the house in Lok Sabha. However, the Gandhinagar meet on Wednesday indicated the arrival of BJP’s new core team.

The Gandhinagar meeting with Modi was held between Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari. Along with Modi’s chief aide Amit Shah, they are now informally called the party’s core group, its main decision-makers. “There was too much to discuss... it wasn’t possible to talk about all of it on the phone," Singh told the media at Gandhinagar.

The crucial meeting held at Gandhinagar also discussed the role of Advani, Sushma Swaraj among others in Modi’s government. While Advani had been maintaining a stoic silence, there were rumours that he could be offered the post of Lok Sabha speaker or head of a set up equivalent to the national advisory council.

The term of the NAC expires in June. The meeting also debated on the issue of party president in the event of Rajnath Singh entering the Modi cabinet. Also, if both the former party president, Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh join the union cabinet, parleys would be held with the RSS to select a new party president.

As for Sushma Swaraj, speculation is rife that she would be given one of the top ministerial portfolios. On Thursday the RSS top brass will hold a meeting at the national Capital. However, leaders from both sides, BJP and RSS, will be in constant touch.

The BJP Parliamentary Board will also meet on May 16.

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