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Advani resigns for 3rd time in 8 years, once over row on Jinnah remarks

It is for the third time in eight years that BJP leader LK Advani has resigned from top party posts.



New Delhi: It is for the third time in eight years on Monday that BJP leader LK Advani has resigned from top party posts including once over the huge controversy over his praise of Pakistan`s founding father Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

85-year-old Advani, a founder member of BJP, had first resigned as party president on June seven, 2005 following widespread criticism from the RSS and right wing outwits over his remarks praising Jinnah during his six-day visit to Pakistan. Advani had described Jinnah as a "secular" leader.

Advani, whose trip to Pakistan was seen as an attempt to reposition himself politically and to shed the hardline tag and recast himself as a moderate more palatable to a wider electorate, had spoken of Jinnah`s "forceful espousal of a secular state in which every citizen would be free to practice his own religion".

He had described Jinnah as one of the "very few who actually create history".

Advani, however, withdrew his resignation from the party chief`s post after intense parleys, ending a four-day long leadership crisis in the opposition party.

Despite the resolution of the crisis, ties remained strained between Advani and the RSS, the party`s fountainhead.

Less than seven months after he withdrew his resignation, Advani stepped down as party president on December 31, 2005 bringing to an end the controversy triggered by his praise of Jinnah. He was succeeded by the current party President Rajnath Singh.

The formal resolution of the crisis in June took place at a meeting of the BJP parliamentary board and central office-bearers to which the Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states were also invited.

PTI

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