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Advani skips BJP's National Executive meet

BJP sources confirmed that Advani is not attending the meeting on Saturday. There were reports that the senior party leader was upset about a decision to make Narendra Modi the head of the party's campaign committee for the 2014 general elections.

L.K. Advani

Senior party leaders say this is the first time in their memory that the party stalwart has stayed away from a meeting of the national executive.

Advani, along with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, led the formation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the successor of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, in 1980.

According to sources, a chartered plane was ready to fly the 85-year-old leader to Goa, but he could not come. Advani's family informed the party that his health condition ruled out travelling. He is reportedly suffering from a stomach problem.

Modi, who emerged as a strong contender to be the party's prime ministerial candidate, is likely to be formally declared head of the party's campaign committee for the 2014 general elections, something Advani and some other leaders have opposed.

Advani had suggested the formation of two campaign committees, one for the upcoming assembly elections in five states this year-end, led by Modi, and another one for the general elections of 2014. Incidentally, other prominent party leaders like Uma Bharti, Jaswant Singh, Yogi Adityananth and Shatrughan Sinha also skipped Saturday's meet citing health issues.

A final decision on who will spearhead the party's campaign in the upcoming general elections is expected to be announced on Sunday.

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