BJP sidelines LK Advani for Narendra Modi, finally

With Bharatiya Janata Party announcing Narendra Modi as party’s election campaign chairman for the 2014 General Elections, one man who must be certainly feeling left out is party patriarch LK Advani – but none other than the ‘old man’ himself is to blame for his pitiful condition.

Advani’s absence from National Executive meet in Goa citing health reasons only sent out an impression that the senior leader Advani is unable to bear the ‘NaMo’ chant and is hell-bent on diminishing not only his own image, but his party’s as well, which he is credited to build up during his decades’ long career in politics.

Whether the ‘unwell’ Advani admits it or not, the BJP stalwart’s recent moves have indicated that he is strongly against the Gujarat Chief Minister’s elevation and appointment as party’s election campaign chief for the 2014 polls.

Advani’s prime ministerial ambitions are very well known and this seems to be the reason why the octogenarian is displaying despicable tactics on the leadership issue. He should now rather act as a mentor to his party. The BJP veteran seems to have forgotten the 2009 loss, when the party under his leadership was routed by the Congress.

Age is certainly catching up with him and he seems to be ignorant of the ground reality that an 85-year-old leader is unacceptable to this nation. Notably, 65 percent of India’s 1.2 billion population is estimated to be under the age of 35, and the connection Modi has with the youth of this country is quite evident from the large turnout witnessed during his address at Sri Ram College of Commerce earlier this year. In the age of social media, Modi has a huge fan following on Twitter. The writing is on the wall, but Advani seems to be living in his own dream world.

With Rajnath Singh finally making the much awaited announcement on the third and the last day of the National Executive meet, the attempt by Advani and his camp, comprising leaders like Uma Bharti, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Yogi Adityananth, has gone in vain. At least now these leaders should fall in line and work for party’s betterment.

The recent tactics of Advani of rating Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan above Modi and his sudden liking for former BJP president Nitin Gadkari (against whom he lobbied earlier) reflects the fact that the BJP patriarch doesn’t care about his `Parivaar`.

Another bizarre ploy of Advani to sideline Modi by suggesting the formation of two campaign committees, one for the upcoming Assembly Elections in five states this year-end to be led by Modi, and another one for the 2014 General Elections didn’t go down well with party president Rajnath Singh.

At a time when the wind is blowing in Modi’s favour and even the party cadre is chanting the NaMo slogan, it is difficult to digest that the ‘Iron Man’ still dreams of being the perfect choice for leading the BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Advani should at least recognise the fact that even without his presence at Goa, the party supporters are no less enthusiastic. The absence of a number of party leaders has been more than made up by Modi, who was welcomed by loud cheers and slogans, a reaction that was not witnessed at the arrival of any other party leader.

With the final announcement on Modi being made, the most senior leader in the BJP, Advani, should play the role of a guide and work with the Gujarat CM.