Crisis in BJP as Advani quits key posts

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

L.K. Advani (file photo)

The BJP plunged into the worst-ever crisis in its 33-year history after party founder and one-time Prime Ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani resigned from key party posts. In a clear protest against the elevation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the party’s poll spearhead for 2014 elections, Advani resigned from the BJP Parliamentary Board, the Election Committee and the National Executive.

The leadership of both the BJP and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, is working overtime to defuse the crisis.

While a number of BJP leaders are sympathetic to Advani’s “cause,” the RSS urged the BJP leadership not to budge under pressure from the veteran. The RSS is also against any change in the announcement made at the party’s Panaji conclave that Modi will oversee the BJP poll campaign in 2014.

Though the BJP Parliamentary Board urged Advani to withdraw his resignation, he remained unrelenting. Earlier, embarrassing the party’s second rung leadership, Advani, in his resignation letter, said most of them work for themselves. He said it was a matter of great pride and satisfaction for him to work for the BJP and its erstwhile form, the Jana Sangh.

‘Personal agendas’

Advani said that for some time he has been finding it difficult to reconcile either with the functioning of the party or the direction in which it is going. “I no longer have the feeling that this is the same idealistic party created by Dr Mookerji, Deen Dayalji, Nanaji and Vajpayeeji whose sole concern was the country and its people. Most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas,” he wrote.

In the letter sent to party president Rajnath Singh, Advani said: “I have decided, therefore, to resign from the three main fora of the party, namely, the National Executive, the Parliamentary Board, and the Election Committee.”

Unhappy Friends

The BJP’s allies in the National Democratic Alliance were unhappy over the development. NDA convenor Sharad Yadav said the move will badly affect the front. Unhappy with Modi’s elevation, the Janata Dal (U) is contemplating its next step. The Shiromani Akali Dal and the Shiv Sena also expressed concern over today’s developments.

Happy Rivals

The crisis came as a blessing in disguise for the Congress, which said the degeneration of BJP has started. “This is the beginning of the complete degeneration of the BJP. It will have its own repercussions,” said party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi.

CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat told Business Line this was a self-created crisis for the BJP.

Published on June 10, 2013

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