Senior BJP leaders meet Advani, fail to get him back on board

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 11 June 2013, 08:49 AM

BJP was in deep crisis on Tuesday as its patriarch L K Advani resigned from all the party posts in protest against the elevation of Narendra Modi, stunning the organisation he had founded and nurtured and leaving its allies in the NDA in discomfort.

85-year-old Advani, the tallest leader after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, resigned from all main fora of the party --Parliamentary Board, National Executive and Election Committee, a day after the party ignored his reservations against Modi and anointed the Gujarat Chief Minister as BJP's campaign chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

In a strongly-worded resignation letter to party President Rajnath Singh, Advani rued that the BJP was no longer the "same idealistic party" created by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Deendayal Upadhyaya, Nanaji Deshmukh and Vajpayee.

Taken aback by Advani's surprise action, BJP leaders held parleys through the day and met in Parliamentary Board late in the night, deciding to reject his resignation, saying his "sage advice" and "guidance" was required now "more than ever before".

Armed with the Parliamentary Board's unanimous resolution, a clutch of leaders -- Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Ananth Kumar -- drove to Advani's residence in a bid to persuade him to withdraw his resignation.

Earlier in the day, a number of leaders including Swaraj, Kumar, Prasad, S S Ahluwalia, M Venkaiah Naidu and V K Malhotra met Advani to request him to reverse his decision but he clearly told them that there was no going back.

Advani, who gave his resignation on Monday morning, made it public just after Rajnath Singh met him at his residence. He had also made it clear to Singh that he should not bring Modi, who was earlier slated to go with BJP chief to brief Advani on the deliberations of the National Executive in Goa.

"The Parliamentary Board is of the opinion that ever since the inception of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shri Advani has been our leader and guide.

That role inevitably belongs to him. The party and nation needs his sage advice and guidance today more than ever before. The Parliamentary Board decided to reject the resignation of Sh Advani ji," the resolution said. 

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First Published: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 08:43 AM
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