Current Affairs

LK Advani Quits BJP

A day after Narendra Modi became the BJP’s campaign committee chief, senior party leader L K Advani resigned from all top party posts – the national executive, parliamentary board and the election committee.

The senior leader sent a letter to BJP president Rajnath Singh informing him of his resignation. “No longer do I have the feeling that this is the same idealistic party created by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Deendayal Upadhyay and A B Vajpayee,” Advani said in his letter.

“Most BJP leaders are concerned just with their personal agendas,” he said in his letter to Rajnath Singh.

Advani had skipped the BJP executive meet in Goa held over the weekend.

The BJP leadership on Sunday had appointed Narendra Modi as the chairman of its national election committee in a significant step towards complete compliance with the pressure from the cadre to declare the Gujarat CM the saffron candidate for prime ministership.

The decision came in the face of resistance of stalwart L K Advani and marks Modi’s emergence as BJP’s pre-eminent leader at the expense of the former deputy PM and many others.

Some of Advani’s unhappy colleagues chose to disguise their sullenness, but the senior leader stayed away from the national executive amid signs of his unhappiness with the big leg-up for Modi.

Although an unprecedented event considering the unflinching regularity with which former deputy PM would attend party meets, his absence did not deter the leadership from acquiescing into the clamour from the cadre for Modi to be anointed as the party’s spearhead for the 2014 battle.

In a conspicuous departure from the routine, none of the speakers mentioned Advani. Modi expressed his gratitude to seniors who mentored him, but refrained from naming names. The omission of Advani from the proceedings looked even glaring against the backdrop of slogans and drumbeats celebrating leadership’s embrace of cadre’s hope that Modi would be the new talisman delivering them next year the trophy which Advani had failed to bag in 2009.

Besides taking the party out of the long and still-lingering shadow of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani and enshrining the role of cadre pressure as a major factor in Sangh Parivar’s decision-making, the big boost for Modi also heralds his rise as principal challenger to the Congress – in fact the entire “secular” end of the political establishment.

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