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BJP takes stock of delicate position in Madhya Pradesh.

Byline: Central leadership deputes senior leaders to oversee poll preparations.

New Delhi: aThe central leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has done some soul-searching about its eroding authority in Madhya Pradesh and has come to the conclusion that both Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and party state unit president Narendra Singh Tomar lack the experience to guide the party to victory.

Madhya Pradesh is among the four states slated to go to the polls in November-December this year. While the BJP is confident about dislodging the ruling Congress from in Delhi, its electoral prospects in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh would be crucial to its chances of forming a government at the Centre next year.

Unlike in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where the incumbent chief ministers have been at the helm since 2004, Chouhan took charge in November 2005.

Former BJP chief minister Uma Bharti, who now heads the breakaway Bharatiya Jan Shakti Party (BJSP), is proving to be a real headache for both Chouhan and the BJP leadership.

According to a central office-bearer of the BJP, the party has decided to depute some senior leaders to oversee poll preparations in the state.

The party's central in-charge for neighbouring Maharashtra, Kaptan Singh Solanki, national secretary Prabhat Jha and veteran leader Pyarelal Khandelwal have been asked to camp in state capital Bhopal until such time that the polls are held. They will assist former party chief M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is the in-charge for Madhya Pradesh.

Naidu has started the ground work. He has called on former chief ministers Sunderlal Patwa and Kailash Joshi in order to get their views on how to retain power. Other central leaders would also be asked to visit the state frequently.

The decision of the party's prime ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani to release a Hindi version of his autobiography My Country My Life in Bhopal on Monday is seen as a step in this direction. The book release function attracted a good crowd and brought together all state-level leaders.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 2, 2008
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