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Will Advani remain Opposition leader?

Last updated on: May 17, 2009 12:30 IST

Senior BJP leader L K Advani is "highly unlikely" to change his decision not to be Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and a new leader will be chosen by consensus if he refuses, a party spokesman said today.

"We are making all efforts to convince him but he has refused to relent and is standing firm on his decision. It is highly unlikely that he will change his stand," BJP spokesman Balbir Punj said.

The party has authorised BJP president Rajnath Singh to talk to Advani on the issue. Singh is expected to meet him.

After the BJP's poor performance in the Lok Sabha polls, Advani had told the party's Parliamentary Board yesterday that he did not want to continue as the Leader of the Opposition and that the party should choose another person for the post.

Punj said, "I don't think we can persuade Advani because he is a man with a very firm mind and once he has made up his mind that he doesn't want to continue as the Leader of the Opposition, efforts to persuade him may not work."

He said the BJP has "many stalwarts", who were earlier in the Rajya Sabha, and that any of them can be the Leader of the Opposition.

Names of senior party leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Jaswant Singh and Murli Manohar Joshi are doing the rounds for the post, party sources said.

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