BJP veteran and margdarshak mandal member LK Advani is one of the four leaders on stage at the party’s National Executive underway at The Lalit, Ashok, in Bengaluru. That is giving the party leaders some flexibility in answering questions whether the 87-year old stalwart would address the national executive.
Ask any top leader if Advani would speak, and there is no straight answer. The Indian Express reported Thursday that all eyes are on Advani at the National Executive that kicked off Thursday, and the party continues to fight shy if he would speak his mind at the party’s second national executive after coming to power at the Centre. The first was held on August 9 in New Delhi to celebrate the majority win of a non-Congress party for the first time since independence.
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Addressing the media after the party president’s inaugural address Friday afternoon, Union Environment and Forest Minister Prakash Javadekar, emphasised that Advani was on stage with the party president, the prime minister and Jaitley, and that should answer all questions. On further prodding, he quickly listed out the national executive’s agenda for Friday and Saturday. The three-day conclave concludes with “margdarshan”, but doesn’t mention Advani as a margdarshi who would speak.
Earlier in the morning, P Muralidhar Rao, general secretary, BJP, said, “Advaniji’s participation is full and complete, his presence in BJP national executive itself is guidance.” Advani will participate in the discussions in various ways, he added.
Advani has not spoken yet, but clearly there is a section that believes that the leadership is trying to gloss over a section’s unhappiness with Amit Shah by getting the Prime Minister praise him effusively. It is this section’s wish that Advani speaks his mind, and there lies the dilemma for the party leadership. To let him, or not.
The backdrop of the podium where the party leaders are seated, is BJP’s national executive slogan “Antyodaya Lakshya”. And seated on stage are: BJP President Amit Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party veteran and margdarshi LK Advani and Union Finance and I&B Minister Arun Jaitley.