Jaitley quits as BJP gen secy

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 18 2009, 04:40am hrs
Under severe attack from party colleagues after being appointed as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley has quit as party general secretary. BJP president Rajnath Singh said here on Tuesday that he accepted his resignation letter today. He added that Jaitley had sent the resignation letter six-seven days ago before setting off for a vacation in London. The Jaitley camp, however, claimed that he had resigned immediately after taking over as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha on June 4.

Both camps said the resignation was in keeping with the one-man-one-post philosophy in the party. In his resignation letter, Jaitley said that he was resigning from the post of general secretary under the one-man one-post rule of the party after his appointment as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said Singh.

Presently in Italy, Jaitley refused to say anything when reached for comments.

There has been a vicious succession war in the BJP with leaders like Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha demanding fixing of accountability and linking of rewards to performance in the party, in the last one week. They have, by implication, pointed out that Jaitley was elevated even when his role as the partys chief election strategist obviously failed to deliver.

Former party vice-president Yashwant Sinha, who quit all posts to protest the manner in which the party was being run, had on Monday demanded that all party office-bearers quit their posts. Rajnath, however, claimed that Jaitleys resignation had nothing to do with charges leveled by Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha.

Sources close to Rajnath also claimed that there was no hurry to appoint replacements for Jaitley and Sinha. With Rajnaths term coming to a close by year-end, a new set of office-bearers will be elected by the new president.

The slugfest in the party is only likely to worsen with the BJP national executive meeting here on June 20 and 21. Jaitley will not be attending the party meet.