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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Advani Vs Modi: A Tale Of Acceptance, Rejections And Denial!



We have been used to getting impatient with Pakistan for being in a constant denial mode, but presently we are increasingly getting used to the Indian national opposition political party BJP demonstrating the same mode most lucidly. Interestingly enough, the BJP has always been used to castigating Pakistan in the strongest of terms for upsetting India with its constant irritants and then the denials instantly. That we are not beating around the bush would get clearer as we push ahead with this post. 

As we all know one of the founder figures of the BJP, Lal Krishna Advani has always been used to opposing the idea of Narendra Modi taking over the lead role in BJP. But the BJP could no longer ignore Modi due to his natural aggressive leadership and recent achievements for his party. The Goa BJP national convention was the occasion when the party had to take a position on Modi considering the paramount importance of getting battle-ready for General Elections-2014. Threatened with internal disagreements, rival camps and absence of prominent leaders including Advani the BJP was in no state to rush through the decision. The denial saga started gloriously from here. The party denied that Advani was absent due to difference of opinion, but only because he was not well. 

The traditional denial of the BJP had been that the party had never had any political links with the right-wing Hindu nationalist organization RSS, and that it was always a cultural association only. So when a prominent leader of the RSS ‘advised’ the BJP President Rajnath Singh to announce Modi's anointment as the Chairman of its Election Campaign Committee for 2014 the Goa convention accepted Modi in that role and denied that the RSS played any part in that historic decision. 

Just the next day the 85-year-old doyen of the party resigned from all party posts putting BJP in its worst crisis and dilemma ever. As it has always been used to the party downplayed the episode saying that they would persuade their guiding angel to take back his resignation. Accordingly the BJP Parliamentary Board ‘rejected’ his resignation and negotiations with Advani continued to the next day involving all possible camps or groups within. It was ironic that all these groups within wanted him to continue blessing and guiding the party never wanting to understand that the veteran leader might still have his sights focused on being the next Prime Minister—an honour he could not achieve so far even after becoming the Deputy Prime Minister during 2002-04. Alas! BJP President Rajnath Singh said on the contrary that the decision on Modi would never be rolled back.

Finally then, another prominent leader of the RSS again ‘advised’ Advani and immediately thereafter the veteran politician ‘accepted’ the party’s ‘rejection’ of his resignation. You guessed it! The BJP again denied any influence of the RSS and the RSS also corroborated this by claiming that they have never been used to interfering in BJP’s internal matters. Well, you must be knowing that LK Advani had to resign from his party president post in 2005 after the RSS criticized him severely for his praise of Pakistan’s founding father Jinnah and referring to him as a secular leader. It is ironic that nobody within BJP seemed to understand why RSS needed one and not the other.

Mamata+Navin+Nitish
All the while the most pleased beholders of the Advani Vs Modi spectacle were their political rivals, former allies of the UPA-2 and allies of the BJP led NDA. They rallied behind Advani for BJP’s discomfiture and when Advani had to take back his resignation the prominent ally of NDA, Janta Dal-United (JDU) having a coalition government with BJP in Bihar, started discussions about withdrawing from NDA. And, a Third Front began to loom large with the inimitable Mamata Bannerji trying to rope in the Odissa Chief Minister Navin Patnaik and also the JDU Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar. Unfortunately the Left, harassed by merciless Mamata since she ousted them after 34 years in power in West Bengal, had already left the Third Front forces in the lurch. The BJP still denies any rift in the party or in its alliance.

And as is only natural with a diehard veteran LK Advani became active again trying to save and rejuvenate the NDA. Despite the occasional ‘advice’ coming his way he would never have Narendra Modi stealing the lead from him in his own party. The Advani Vs Modi political saga is here to stay. And hark! Dare not speak anything against the denying BJP, because they have been used to terming anything against them as conspiracy, particularly now with a new leader at its helm.

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