BJP veteran LK Advani quits all party posts

Senior party leader LK Advani on Monday resigned from all posts of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Senior party leader LK Advani on Monday resigned from all posts of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The resignation came a day after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was appointed the head of the party’s election campaign committee for 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

In a letter written to BJP president Rajnath Singh, Advani said he is resigning from the national executive, parliamentary board and election committee.

A dejected Advani, who did not attend the party’s three-day conclave in Goa, wrote in the letter that the direction in which the party is going is not the way it was planned by the party`s founders.

“For some time I have been finding it difficult to reconcile either with the current functioning of the party, or the direction in which it is going. I no longer have the feeling that this is the same idealistic party created by Dr Mookerji, Deen Dayalji, Nanaji and Vajpayeeji whose sole concern was the country, and its people,” Advani wrote.

Advani, one of the tallest party leaders, further wrote that he finds it difficult to work with people who are concerned only with personal agenda.

“Most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas,” the veteran stated.

Advani was upset over Modi’s elevation as party’s poll panel chief and today’s development is a fallout of that decision.

Taken aback by Advani`s surprise action, BJP leaders held parleys through the day and met in Parliamentary Board late in the night, deciding to reject his resignation, saying his "sage advice" and "guidance" was required now "more than ever before".

Armed with the Parliamentary Board`s unanimous resolution, a clutch of leaders - Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Ananth Kumar - drove to Advani`s residence in a bid to persuade him to withdraw his resignation.

Earlier in the day, a number of leaders including Swaraj, Kumar, Prasad, SS Ahluwalia, M Venkaiah Naidu and VK Malhotra met Advani to request him to reverse his decision but he clearly told them that there was no going back.

"The Parliamentary Board is of the opinion that ever since the inception of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party, Shri Advani has been our leader and guide. That role inevitably belongs belongs to him. The party and nation needs his sage advice and guidance today more than ever before. The Parliamentary Board decided to reject the resignation of Sh Advani ji," the resolution said.

Important BJP ally JD(U), already not enthused by Modi`s elevation, received with surprise Advani`s decision and indicated that it will have to review its position in the wake of these developments.

With PTI inputs