Days after BJP sacrificed its alliance with JD(U) by elevating Narendra Modi, its senior leader L K Advani on Saturday invoked Jansangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee to emphasise that his party would need to join hands with other parties to defeat Congress.
Speaking at a party programme on the occasion of the 61th death anniversary of Mookerjee, Advani said the late leader had realised the importance of allying with other parties opposed to Congress rule during Jansangh's first national meet in Kanpur in 1952.
"His (Mookerjee's) idea is relevant in today's context as well... It is important that the party make friends," he said, days after his party lost its 17-year-old ally JD(U).
Without making any direct reference to JD(U), Advani said Mookerjee had invited leaders of Gantantra Parishad, then Odisha-based regional party, to Kanpur because he knew the importance of joining hands with other anti-Congress parties to fight the then dominant ruling party.
Advani's comments assume significance in the wake of JD(U) splitting with the party recently over the rise of Gujarat Chief Minister Modi.
Advani had also opposed Modi's elevation as party's election campaign committee chief but his voice was ignored. Key JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had accused the party of deviating from the principles of Advani and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Party President Rajnath Singh and former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu were also present on the occasion.