STRONGLY OPPOSED to nepotism in politics, BJP stalwart Lal Krishna Advani did not want son Jayant to contest the by-election from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency in 1989 even though he was expected to win easily from there, according to a new book.
“Jayant may win from Gandhinagar easily but I will not allow him to contest,” the former Deputy Prime Minister told long-time friend and former Ahmedabad (East) MP Harin Pathak when the latter suggested that Advani keep the New Delhi seat and let son Jayant contest the by-election from Gandhinagar after the BJP leader won two seats in 1989 Lok Sabha elections.
In the event, Advani decided to keep Gandhinagar and resigned from New Delhi. Rajesh Khanna, matinee idol and Congress candidate, won the by-polls.
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This is among many anecdotes about the veteran politician in a book by Vishwambhar Srivastava, Advani’s assistant for more than three decades. Thirty-two years, to be precise, as the title makes it clear — “Advani ke Saath 32 Saal (32 Years With Advani)”. Published by Anil Prakashan, Delhi, the book will be released Friday.
Under Z-Plus security since 1990, Advani was taken aback at the sight of the armed men by his side when he took the oath as I&B Minister in the Janata Party of Morarji Desai on March 24, 1977, the Srivastava writes. Reaching home, he saw some security personnel already there, waiting for him.
“When he (Advani) arrived, they saluted him. He asked me, ‘Who are they?’ I told him they are security personnel to protect you,” Srivastava writes.
Not particularly happy, Advani replied, “I don’t need any security. Ask them to go back.”
Srivastava writes that it needed some convincing from him for the new minister to let them stay.