By resigning from all party posts and indicating that he is more acceptable to the NDA than Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,BJP patriarch L K Advani has sought to halt in its tracks any more moves in the party featuring Modi.
Following Advanis shock decision,JD (U) leaders said the NDA was on ventilator support and indicated that it would be difficult for the party to continue with the alliance without Advani. The Shiv Sena said it could not think of the NDA or the BJP without Advani.
While Advanis move brought him much-needed support from outside the BJP,a day after the party ignored his suggestion and appointed Modi as the partys campaign committee chief for 2014,Mondays developments indicated his desperation to remain in control of the party which has been increasingly influenced by the RSS since his controversial remarks about M A Jinnah in 2005.
The BJP president was learnt to have consulted Advani almost a week before announcing Modis new role and The Indian Express had last week reported that Advani had agreed to this but insisted that a parallel election management committee must also be announced simultaneously.
However,Advanis choice to head the parallel panel Nitin Gadkari excused himself from such a role even before it could fruition.
Rajnath Singhs announcement in Goa on Sunday did not defer to Advanis suggestion and this,party leaders admitted,was the reason for the veterans sulk and resignation.
Advani loyalists claim that Singh could have
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Sangh Parivar shadow-boxing at centre of BJP crisis
ignored his suggestion only at the behest of the RSS,which some RSS leaders admit is the sole reason for the grudge of Advani. The fact that RSS leader Suresh Soni,who looks after the affairs of the BJP,did not attend the national executive meeting where Modis elevation was announced,did not cut much ice with Advani,it is learnt.
The sum and substance of his rebellion today is his objection to Rajnaths deferrence to RSS more than towards him, said a senior party functionary. In fact,one functionary considered close to Advani claimed that Singh rejected Advanis suggestion not just due to the popular support for Modi but also due to the influence of Soni.
With Advanis popular support within the party falling far short of that of Modi,the veteran leader sought to leverage his relatively broader acceptance within the NDA to flex his muscle against the RSSs micro-management against his wishes and suggestions.