Sulking Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley again skipped the meeting of the party's Central Election Committee on Tuesday. The meeting was held to finalise Lok Sabha candidates for Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
The CEC meeting, chaired by party president Rajnath Singh, was attended by senior leaders L K Advani, Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Gopinath Munde and Bal Apte. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi also attended the meeting.
Jaitley, who is protesting against the appointment of businessman Sudhanshu Mittal as co-convenor of the North East, has made it clear that he would not attend the meetings of the CEC till his demand is met.
He skipped the earlier meeting of the CEC on March 13. Efforts to mollify him have proved futile.
The BJP president, who has appointed Mittal, a close associate of late party leader Pramod Mahajan, to the post, has also refused to go back on his decision.
Meanwhile, BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani sought to dismiss differences between party chief Rajnath Singh and general secretary Arun Jaitley as a 'minor issue'.
"It (differences) is a minor issue," Advani said here when asked about Jaitley's open opposition to Mittal's appointment.
Advani had on Monday dismissed suggestions of differences, saying "This issue may make a good story for you but there are no differences within the party."