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Millennium Post

Advani's revolt and surrender

The revolt against the party leadership and subsequent surrender of Lal Krishna Advani has only dented his image as a strong and shrewd politician. In this process he has gained nothing and lost what was left with him at the fag end of his political career. In his resignation letter he has lamented the improper functioning of the party and the self serving attitude of the party leaders, but his immediate reason for resignation was to put pressure on the party to backtrack the decision to elevate Narendra Modi in national politics by anointing him as the Chairman of Election Campaign Committee.

His opposition to Narendra Modi was crystal clear not only in the party circle, but it was known to everyone. He first unsuccessfully tried to persuade Nitin Gadkari for that job and later abstained from National Executive Committee meeting to scuttle the chance of Modi to become the chairman of the Committee. He failed and made final assault by resigning from all the three important committees of the party. The final shot backfired too and he was forced to take back his resignation to avoid sleeping into political wilderness. In the process, he has only validated his irrelevance in BJP and also in Indian politics.

It is not clear what transpired between him and the RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, but it is obvious that he could not even get a face saver while retracting from his move. The fact that he took the decision to accept the decision of the Party Parliamentary Board to reject his resignation after being persuaded by the RSS Chief, only defaces him, because he has been giving the message that he was aggrieved because of the intervention of RSS in the party affair. He would have saved his face by submitting that he was withdrawing his resignation under the pressure of BJP leaders and workers, it would have been graceful for him.

Advani himself is responsible for the present agony in which he finds himself. In 2009 he had accepted the dictate of RSS to leave all posts of the party and work only as a guardian. If he had any ambition to lead the party as its PM nominee in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he should not have accepted that dictate and continued with his position of the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha. Once accepted his position as a guardian, he should have thrown out his ambition to lead the party again. But he continued nursing his ambition to sit on the chair of Prime Minister of India and kept hoping that the leaders of the next generation would keep fighting for that post and he would emerge as the natural leader for Prime Minister post, in case BJP forms government.

Emergence of Narendra Modi from among the leaders of the second line dampened the hope of Advani and he started playing NDA card and even patronizing Nitish Kumar and his Dal in their attack on Modi. He also started pitting Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chauhan against him. In the pursuance of his run for Prime Ministership, he even started belittling his party by saying that people were disappointed with Congress, but the condition of BJP, too, is not well. He also started making prophecy that there was no chance of a BJP led government after 2014 elections. He also started playing ‘secular card’. It was astonishing to see that a person, who has been responsible for a series of communal riots by his Ram temple movement causing the deaths of thousands of people not only all over India, but in some other countries as well, was trying to ride on secular politics to achieve his ambition.

Advani was swimming against the current without much muscle power and he was destined to sink. And he sunk, but his sinking is not without political impacts on the country. The first impact of the end of Advani era will be on National Democratic Alliance. BJP is the leader of the alliance and as its executing chairman of NDA; LK Advani is the central figure of the alliance. Atal Bihar Vajpayee is still the chairman, but he is not physically fit to lead it. Though, Advani continues to be the Executive Chairman of NDA, he cannot be effective to address the grievances of its junior partners, if his position in his own party is undermined.

Again, it seems that the current leadership of BJP is not much interested in pre poll alliance; rather it is aiming at getting maximum Lok Sabha seats possible and venture into alliance only after the poll. Anyway, NDA has been reduced to merely a three party alliance and it is no more cohesive as seen during Presidential Elections, when JD (U) and Shiva Sean did not vote along with BJP against Congress nominee.

JD(U) is likely to leave NDA after the downfall of Advani in BJP. Even if it does not leave, the BJP leaders may force it to leave, because no love has been left between these two partners. After the loss of JD(U), the position of Narendra Modi in the party will further get strengthened. BJP will find itself in need of declaring Narendra Modi as its PM candidate, to compensate the loss of Nitish Kumar to win Lok Sabha elections in Bihar. The alliance in Bihar between BJP and JD (U) is based on caste alliance, where BJP depends on Nitish to get the anti Lalu OBCs votes. Only the projection of Modi as PM candidate will ensure that they will vote for BJP, despite its divorce from Nitish Kumar.

The politics of Uttar Pradesh is not different from Bihar, so far as caste consideration is concerned. Rajnath Singh himself is from UP and knows it better than even Narendra Modi, how important he (Modi) is to help BJP win more Lok Sabha seats in UP. That is why Mr Singh has made Amit Shah, the close lieutenant of Modi as the In Charge of UP. Rajnath Singh knows that his future as a national leader of BJP depends critically on the performance of his party in his home state and for that he knows the importance of Narendra Modi. Again the latest developments may impact Shiva Sena as well, but like Bihar, BJP may not worry for Maharashtra, because there is another Sena, which may join it. The rivalry of Raj Thackeray and Uddhav Thackeray gives opportunity to BJP to play one against another. If Uddhav leaves, Narendra Modi hand may be strengthened further by entry of Raj Thackeray in its alliance. With Advani down, Narendra Modi can persuade Yeddyurappa of Karnataka to rejoin BJP, because he is not averse to Modi, but to Advani and his Karnataka protégé Ananth Kumar. In this way, Lal Krishna Advani has only served the interest of Narendra Modi by opposing him. So far as the projection of Modi as PM candidate is concerned, RSS will have its own considerations and viewpoints.

It will not be guided by what Advani says, but in case it wants not to project or make Modi as PM, it can at most use the name of Advani. It means, Advani has
gained nothing from RSS, but only has accepted to become its tool to beat Modi, if it needs.IPA


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