Modi on mind,Advani puts off Jammu trip

BJP may have reached a truce with sulking patriarch L K Advani but the differences

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Published: June 23, 2013 1:44:09 am

BJP may have reached a truce with sulking patriarch L K Advani but the differences over the elevation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the national campaign committee chairman still appear to be far from over.

An indication to this effect came after Modi’s decision to kickstart the party’s election campaign for general elections next year by addressing a sankalp rally at Madhopur on June 23 — the day BJP ideologue and Jan Sangh founder Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee died in jail in Srinagar six decades ago. Advani,who was also scheduled to attend a function to mark the death anniversary of Mookerjee at nearby Jammu,has cancelled his programme. The function was being organised by Pt Prem Nath Dogra Trust and Advani was scheduled to release a book titled “Praja Parishad Ki Kahani’’.

Significantly,the cancellation came even as the organisers had already booked the venue — the prestigious Jammu Club — and got the invitation cards printed. While Advani had agreed to attend the function as chief guest nearly two months back,his cancellation message was reportedly conveyed to the organisers on Thursday evening.

“After receiving cards from the printing press,we had gathered at the residence of the state BJP’s organising secretary,Ashok Koul,on June 20 to chalk out the final programme. However,Koul informed us about the phone call from Advani’s PA regarding cancellation of his visit,’’ said the Trust chairman Mulakh Raj Pargal.

“As the programme was being organised by Pt Prem Nath Dogra Trust,we could have gone ahead with the function but the invitation cards carried the name of Advani as chief guest,’’ said one of the organisers. According to him,though Advani has cited his pre-occupation in Delhi for not coming to Jammu,he appears to have cancelled his already fixed programme in view of Modi’s Sankalp rally being held at Madhopur the same day.

His views were echoed by other BJP leaders as well,who admitted that it would have been very difficult for Advani to avoid Modi’s Sankalp rally especially when it was being attended by all party leaders,legislators and a large number of activists from the state.

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