In a veiled reference to the JD(U)s exit from the NDA over Narendra Modis elevation as chief campaigner,BJP patriarch L K Advani Friday reminded his party president Rajnath Singh that even the founder of the Jan Sangh had tried to keep anti-Congress forces united in order to break the Congresss hold over India.
I remember Syama Prasad Mookerjee brought Orissa Gantantra Parishad leaders to his partys first national convention in Kanpur. This reflected his willingness to join ranks with other parties to break the hegemony of the Congress. This was a message to befriend anti-Congress parties, Advani said in his first public address since the elevation of Modi nearly a fortnight ago.
Advani recounts his association with Mookerjee every June when the BJP commemorates the martyrdom of the Jan Sangh founder over the issue of special status to Kashmir. But he has never revealed this nugget of information about Mookerjees political strategy before. Rajnath Singh was present on the dais as Advani spoke.
The BJP president,who spoke before Advani,on his part praised the party veteran. There is no better person to tell us about the legacy of Mookerjee. In fact Advaniji is our best ideologue, Rajnath said.
I want to promise that under the guidance of Advani,the BJP will fulfill the dreams of Mookerjee, Rajnath added,apparently in response to Advanis complaint in his resignation letter that the BJP was now no longer the same idealistic party that Mookerjee had created.
In their speeches,both Rajnath and former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu,apart from paying tributes to Mookerjee,went out of their way to highlight Sardar Patels contribution to the country. Modi has recently undertaken to build a giant statue of the Sardar.