Advani resigns as opposition party leader

via published on December 18, 2009

NEW DELHI: L.K. Advani is resigned as Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha today. Sushma Swaraj is tipped to take his place.

On Saturday, at a scheduled meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Parliamentary Board, a decision is expected on endorsing Nitin Gadkari as the next party chief after the end of Rajnath Singh’s tenure.

However, the formal taking of charge by Mr. Gadkari, now Maharashtra BJP president, will take place some time in January as per the party organisation election timetable.

The changes will mark the overhaul of the party leadership after the 2009 Lok Sabha election debacle.

Since the BJP’s parliamentary party constitution has no provision for such a post, it will be specially created for Mr. Advani. This position is not a constitutional office and the two Leaders of the Opposition — Arun Jaitley in the Rajya Sabha and Ms. Swaraj or whoever replaces Mr. Advani in the Lok Sabha — will enjoy Cabinet position. Mr. Advani as chairman will not.

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