Nowadays, BJP is acting like a one man party. Many senior leaders who are also founding members are sidelined and ignored. LK Advani’s anger against the party leadership is quite obvious because BJP is behaving like a ‘one man show’ run by Modi. Advani is a senior leader of the Saffron Party. When the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was in power from 1998–2004 under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Advani served as Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister (the latter in 2002–04). He was the Leader of the Opposition in the 10th Lok Sabha and 14th Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament).
Advani began his political career as a volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, his life as a social servant started in 1947 when he was elected as the Secretary, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Karachi. Advani was later sent to Matsya-Alwar in Rajasthan, which had witnessed communal violence following Partition, to oversee the affairs of the RSS there. He is not only a senior leader but has also mentored many leaders. Advani became a member of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, also known as the Jana Sangh, which was founded in 1951 by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. He became member of the Rajya Sabha from Delhi for the entire six year tenure from 1970.After serving in various positions in the Jana Sangh, he became its President in 1973 at the Kanpur session of the party working committee. His first act as president of the BJS was to expel founder member and veteran leader Balraj Madhok from primary membership of the party for supposedly repeatedly violating the party directives and acting against the interests of the party. He was a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat from 1976 to 1982.
When Jai Prakash Narayan, who led the public movement against the Emergency refused to campaign for the opposition parties unless all of them joined together, the Jana Sangh and many other opposition parties merged into the Janata Party. With the dissolution of the Jana Sangh, Advani and his colleague Atal Bihari Vajpayee joined the Janata Party to fight the Lok Sabha Elections of 1977. The Janata Party was formed by political leaders and activists of various political parties who had been united in opposing the state of Emergency imposed in 1975 by then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. After elections were called in 1977, the Janata Party was formed from the union of the Congress (O), the Swatantra Party, the Socialist Party of India, the Jana Sangh and the Lok Dal. Jagjivan Ram split from the Indian National Congress, bringing a small faction known as the Congress for Democracy with him, and joined the Janata alliance. The widespread unpopularity of Emergency rule gave the Janata Party and its allies a landslide victory in the election. Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister of India, Advani became the Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Vajpayee became the Foreign Minister.The erstwhile members of the Jana Sangh quit the Janata Party and they formed the new Bharatiya Janata Party. Advani became a prominent leader of the newly founded BJP and represented the party in the Rajya Sabha.
Recently, he was upset with the party. A series of top BJP leaders failed to persuade LK Advani to run for Parliament from Gandhinagar in Gujarat, the party president Rajnath Singh andNarendra Modi went and met the 87-year-old to attempt a breakthrough. The BJP said it would “prefer” Mr. Advani to contest the general election from Gandhinagar for the sixth term; he wants to relocate to Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, governed by Shivraj Singh Chouhan, with whom he has been developing a deepening alliance. When the hard sell didn’t work, Advani was pinged by the BJP’s ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh or RSS whose chief Mohan Bhagwat said the BJP’s top leaders must present themselves as united.
Modi governed Gujarat for more than 12 years. Advani’s exit from Gujarat will reflect badly onthe prime ministerial candidate, the BJP feels. Advani’s supporters, on the other hand, worry that BJP workers in Gujarat will work against him as payback for an unsuccessful attempt last year to stop Modi from being nominated for the post of prime minister. Advani’s interest in swapping Gandhinagar for Bhopal reflects two political complexities for his party; it exposes the irritable relationship he shares with Modi.
Anyhow, Advani was solaced, but now Jaswant Singh wants to contest the general election from Barmer. He has never represented it in the Lok Sabha, but has reportedly told the party that he wants to contest what is likely to be his last election, from the constituency where he was born. His family hails from Jasol, a village in Barmer. Singh has won Lok Sabha elections before from Chittorgarh in Rajasthan in 1991 and 1996 and from Darjeeling in West Bengal in 2009. However, Vasundhara Raje is allegedly keen to award Barmer to Col (Retd.) Sona Ram Choudhary, who entered in BJP from the Congress Party earlier this week. The former army officer has represented Barmer in Parliament earlier, but was defeated in the 2004 election by Mr. Singh’s son Manavendra, who is now a member of the state legislature.
The chief minister has told the party’s top leaders that the retired colonel, who is a Jat, could be a big draw in Barmer. Jats are the dominant community in Barmer. Singh, on the other hand, is a Thakur. He is popular among the Muslim voters, who comprise some 14 per cent of the electorate in Barmer.In 2009, Singh had won from Darjeeling in a pact with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, or the GJM, which agreed to back his candidacy in return for the BJP’s promise to champion the “separate Gorkhaland” cause. Let’s see who breaks the ice here.
In the interest of the party, the senior leaders should act as a team and pull together in one direction. Success is at hand, and with thoughtful actions, it can be achieved. Forget the personal differences and pending ambitions for the sake of the party and for the country’s progress. However, on the other hand, RSS and Modi are behaving like a dictator. Advani is the classic case of ‘build something and if you cannot enjoy destroy it’ syndrome. He needs to understand that people are not voting for BJP, people are voting for Modi. People are not talking of BJP, they are talking about Modi. He should be large hearted to see someone from the organisation growing up and building that kind of dreams in people by his work as one has seenin Gujarat. At this ripe old age, Advani should not lose the respect which he has built in so many years of struggle. Let’s see whether BJP defeats Modi or Modi take over BJP.
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