New Delhi: In a significant development, veteran BJP leader LK Advani on Wednesday virtually ruled himself out as the prime ministerial candidate of the party.
Clearing the air over speculations around his prime ministerial ambition, Advani said that he was more than satisfied to be a part of RSS and his party.
Though Advani evaded a direct reply on the question of him pitching for the PM’s post incase NDA came to power, he said, “As an RSS worker, as a BJP worker I have achieved more than I could have achieved as a Prime Minister. I am just happy being a part of the party. What the country has given me is much more than that I would have got as PM.”
It is reported that Advani was summoned by the RSS leaders to clarify his stand on the issue. RSS is believed to have been unhappy over media reports suggesting that the BJP leader’s yatra was meant as launch pad for the top post.
The 83-year old senior leader`s decision to hold a meeting with Bhagwat came in the wake of reports that RSS wanted to project a younger leader and had earlier asked Advani to make way for gen next.
It is suggested that RSS may even have made the clarification a pre-condition for it to extend its full backing to the yatra. Many believed that without RSS cadre coming out to support the yatra, it was in danger of turning into an embarrassment for Advani.
According to sources, Advani may make another statement before the yatra making it clear that he had paved way for a younger leader.
During the press conference, the BJP leader claimed that his proposed yatra against corruption had the full backing of the central leadership of the Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh and expressed optimism that it will certainly improve the situation.
“I am happy to announce that I have received full support and blessings of the RSS chief (Mohun Bhagwat) and he has expressed optimism that it will be achieve its desired goals,” he told reporters.
Advani also utilized the opportunity in launching a scathing attack on the UPA government led by the Congress party saying, “It is virtually non-existent because of different scams and government’s lack of action.”
Meanwhile, BJP also cleared that Advani is not in the running for the post of Prime Minister.
BJP leader Balbir Punj told reporters, “Advani ji is not in the race for the prime minister’s post. If he has said this, he is competent enough to take a decision in this regard…..BJP’s stand is clear on this. Advani ji had conducted several yatras inpast and it has no connection with the Prime Minister’s post.”