Today evening (13th Sep 2013), Rajnath Singh, National President of BJP formally announced the name of Narendra Modi as their PM Candidate, after the approval of their Parliamentary Board. L K Advani, the senior most leader of BJP boycotted this important event and issued a press statement conveying his disappointment over the announcement of Modi's name.
Even earlier in the month of June 2013, Advani skipped the Goa national executive meeting when Modi was announced as the Chief of Campaign for 2014 elections. He even resigned his post from the Parliamentary Board. He withdrew later due to intervention of RSS.
Now the media is highlighting the resentment of Advani as a vertical split in the party. After the announcement of Modi, Advani got isolated. At the same time, many of the BJP workers and the neutral people feel that Advani is creating this type of 'tantrum' causing embarassment to the BJP since his dream of becoming PM might not be fullfilled, if Modi is projected as PM candidate.
Lal Krishna Advani, popularly known as L K Advani is one of the outstanding statesmen of this country with more than 60 years of political career. He should be credited with the emergence of BJP as a major political power in India. Since he carried an aggressive Hindutva image, the alliance parties could not accept him as the Prime Minister in 1998 and he had to compromise with Vajpayee, who carried a neutral image for PM post. He was made the Home Minister and later Deputy Prime Minister in Vajpayee Government.
He is considered as one of the clean politicians with clean personal life. In 2004 General Elections, Vajapyee and Advani were projected as poster boys and people voted Congress to power. In 2009, Advani was projected as PM candidate by NDA and still they could not get the mandate.
BJP's strategy to change the face
Since Advani was not a successful candidate, now the party had to think of changing the strategies by projecting some other acceptable leader. Fortunately, Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat has emerged as a national leader known to the entire country. Various poll surveys credit him with nearly 45% score in his favour, with Advani being 5 to 6% only.
Diminishing image of Advani
Many of the present day BJP leaders were moulded by Advani. Instead of mentoring the next generation, the tantrum created by Advani has not gone well with the party cadre and general public.
Though BJP President offered him the highest policy making position of NDA II Chairmanship with cabinet rank, he did not accept any compromise. His boycott of Parliamentary Board meeting to announce Modi's candidature has caused lot of embarassment to the leaders of BJP. It has lowered his image, which he has developed over 60 years. Even youngsters have started feeling as if Advani is a power hungry person and wants to destroy the party.
Sadly Advani did not realise that the country is in a mood in favour of Narendra Modi and his era is getting over. Graciously, he should have handed over the powers to the next generation leaders by announcing Modi's name himself. Probably coteries around him mislead him.
As a great admirer of Advani, I feel sad on seeing the crumbling image of this tall leader.
By Prime Point Srinivasan 13 Sep 2013