Advani: Second man playing the villain

It is clear that Modi is the choice of BJP. Only Advani’s position is suspense. It will finally be revealed during BJP’s parliamentary board’s meeting today

The word is out, although unofficially. Bhartiya Janata party president Rajnath Singh has reportedly called his allies and told them about the decision of choosing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as their prime ministerial candidate well before going into the parliamentary board meeting in the evening today.

Though, Singh faced a lot of trouble from few senior leaders, he has so far been able to take other party members and allies by his side.

He was last seen hopping in a car with Sushma Swaraj, of course after persuading her, with Ananth Kumar to Lal Krishna Advani’s residence. Former party president Nitin Gadkari was also sent with a word to assuage Advani.

Advani has been playing a spoilsport all the way for Modi. We all remember how he resigned from all the party positions in June when Modi took over the reign of election campaign for BJP. While it was a transformation of Modi, who overnight started addressing the nation rather than limiting himself to Gujarat only, it was the start of Advani’s mood swings, which created troubles for the party.

“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,” Advani said, without giving any specifics.

At a time, again, when Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and Shiv Sena is throwing its weight behind Modi, Advani is sulking in the corner of his room over Modi’s anointment. He in fact went on praising Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan over Modi to soothe his burning soul.

It is just difficult to understand why Advani is against Modi’s coronation except for two. No doubt he has been worried over the eccentricity with which Modi renders all his actions; he has also been hurt regarding the party’s attitude towards him due to Modi’s ascendance.

But Advani himself has been the carrier of eccentricity inside BJP. He has been known as a man who speaks only his mind and gives a damn to what others believe. It will not be an exaggeration if we call his attitude militant seen during VHP’s rath yatra. His relations with RSS went down when he visited Pakistan and praised Jinnah.

In a way, Modi is just like young Advani. He was later’s right hand during rath yatra days. Advani was popular then, but Modi is more popular now.

When Advani decised to play second fiddle to former prime minister and mentor Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he saw Vajpayee as a leader who was high on the integrity scale and knew public mind. These qualities are there in Modi which has been acknowledged by the public and other politial leaders as well. Advani used to keep Modi by his side because of these qualities only. What has chanaged for him now is hard to understand.

Perhaps he is living in the past and is just not able to accept his own annihilation.

Whatever the reasons be, for now he is acting like a villain for Rajnath Singh who is dividing the house. It is only Singh’s regard towards him and the fear of going down as a party president who bypassed a veteran leader of the party perhaps that he is engaged with parleys with many to take him on board.

Senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who had decided to sit on the fence, has now agreed to join party’s meet. He may either be joining to support Advani or for backing Modi.

Meanwhile, Modi too has arrived for the party’s meet.

It is clear that Modi is the choice of BJP. Only Advani’s position is suspense. It will finally be revealed during BJP’s parliamentary board’s meeting today at 5 pm whether the veteran has agreed to remain a part of the act or still playing the villain.

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