New Delhi, June 1 : L K Advani has been elected as BJPs Parliamentary party leader and with its drubbing in the just-concluded elections fresh in his mind said the party was 'deeply disappointed' at the outcome which belied its 'expectations.'
In his address to the first meeting of the BJP parliamentary party, Advani said, 'We have to find out why our performance was poor in states like Rajasthan, UP, Delhi, Haryana, Uttrakhand and Orissa.

'We also have to find out why we won less than expected number of seats in states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.'

Advani said 'naturally' BJP is 'deeply disappointed' by the outcome of the elections.
'I cannot deny that the expectations in our party as in our support base were much higher than what we have actually achieved. But we accept peoples verdict with humility,' he said.

As Advani is the leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, he will be the Leader of Opposition in the lower house.

'After his election as the leader, the parliamentary party has authorised Advaniji to appoint office-bearers including leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and deputy leader of both the houses. He has also been authorised to appoint chief whips in both the houses,' senior party leader Sushma Swaraj told reporters after the meeting.

When asked whether Advani would continue as leader of opposition for the entire term of the Lok Sabha, former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu said that such questions were irrelevant.

To a question on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offering the deputy speakers post in the Lok Sabha to the opposition, Naidu said, 'Advaniji has just been elected as our leader. He will take up the issue shortly.'

Advani will now have to take a final call on whether to choose Arun Jaitley or M Venkaiah Naidu for the post of the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
Earlier this week, Jaitley had proposed the name of Naidu for the post and the gesture was reciprocated by the latter leading to a status quo.

Jaitley had in public expressed his unwillingness to handle the responsibility. BJP leaders are clear that if not Jaitley it would be Naidu who would lead the party in the Upper House.

BJP sources claim that if Jaitley does not become Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, then it would mean he is eyeing the party president post, which will fall vacant in January. Rajnath has said he is not keen on another term.

But one faction of the party reportedly wants Jaitley to take over as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha so that he is out of the race for party presidentship.

Sources told Samay Live while Sushma Swaraj is tipped to be the Deputy Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, S S Ahluwalia is likely to become the Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha.

Swaraj is also likely to replace Advani when he decides to relinquish the post of Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha.

Some feel this would be done around December, just in time to prevent Rajnath Singh from staking a claim to the post after he completes his term as party president in January.

(Posted on 01 June 2009, 1695639846 34O204O181O91)