In a clear indication that the tussle between senior leader L K Advani andNarendraModi is far from over, the patriarch's close aide SudheendraKulkarni has written an article dubbing the Gujarat chief minister as an "autocrat" who cares "two hoots" for the party.
In an article posted on rediff.com, Kulkarni - who is one of the advisers to Advani and is virtually his alter ego, has also called BJP President Rajnath Singh "foxy". He has said the BJP chief has "astrologically-induced delusions" of becoming the PM.
Kulkarni firmly maintains in his article that despite his age, Advani, 85, has still a lot to contribute to the party and the country. He has justified Advani's opposition to Modi and said the senior leader did not go back on the criticism he had made of the BJP in his resignation letter.
"An autocrat (Modi) is sought to be enthroned, and a perfect democrat (Advani) is being marginalized and humiliated... "...A self-centered leader who has shown that he cares two hoots for the party organization and long-time party colleagues in his own state has suddenly become all powerful in the BJP's national scheme of things, whereas a selfless leader who toiled for many decades to build the party brick by brick is being cast aside as a useless relic," Kulkarni said.
The article was posted on the website on June 17, a day before Modi visited Advani and had a 45-minute closed door one-on-one meeting with him. Hitting out at Singh, who went ahead with the anointment of Modi while Advani kept away from the national executive at Goa, Kulkarni said, "And a foxy party president, who has his own astrologically-induced delusions of becoming India's prime minister, has allowed himself to be prodded and dictated by vested interests to undermine Advani's position in the BJP."
Kulkarni, who was a close aide of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, also hits out at the Sangh founthead RSS, saying it "thoughtlessly weakened" Advani's position in 2005 in the wake of a "manufactured controversy" over his remarks that Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah was secular. He warns that the "decay that has begun in the BJP" will most "certainly accelerate if Advani is further humiliated and forced either to retire or to rebel".
BJP scoffed at Kulkarni's comments. "He can have his own opinion, who cares," BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said, adding nothing was heard from Advani in this regard.