LK Advani back in prime ministerial race?
New Delhi: Amidst growing support for Narendra Modi among Bharatiya Janata Party`s cadres and many wanting the party to name him the prime ministerial candidate in 2014 General Elections, Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel on Saturday stirred the hornet’s nest with his remark that the next government at the Centre will be formed under LK Advani`s leadership.
Vijay Goel was addressing a function here celebrating the party`s 33rd Foundation Day in the presence of senior BJP leader Advani and party president Rajnath Singh.
"The next government at the Centre will be formed under the leadership of LK Advani and nobody else," Goel said.
Later, Goel sought to play down his remark saying what he meant was that the next government will be formed under Advani`s guidance.
He eulogised Vajpayee and Advani in his speech, saying they guided the party since its inception. While Vajpayee was unwell, he said, the party will seek Advani`s guidance as it braces ahead for forming its government in the next general elections.
On the other hand, earlier in the day, in his speech at the BJP headquarters, Advani had said that he felt pride in admitting that his party raised the issue of Ram temple and Ayodhya as it was not just a political movement but also a cultural one.
Advani asked partymen not to be apologetic for the Ayodhya movement and instead take pride in it.
Advani also referred to Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav`s recent words of praise for him, which had surprised many, and said that people should not hesitate to speak the "right thing" as "the world will accept it".
"People say that BJP and Bharatiya Jana Sangh achieved this position by raising issues like Ayodhya and Ram temple. I feel proud in admitting this and say that ours is not just a political movement but also a cultural movement," he said.
Referring to the SP chief, he said, "Recently, when people heard Mulayam Singh ji praising me, they thought what is he saying and doing? I feel if you speak the right thing, the world will accept it. You should not hesitate. Don`t ever let that inferiority complex come inside you."
"When people believe and talk of our Ayodhya issue and agitate over it, you should not be apologetic over it, ever. You should take pride in it," Advani told partymen.
Speaking at the function, Advani told the audience that keeping in mind what is going on within the party, "Today`s BJP is different from my idea of the party".
"Things that I get to hear these days do not match with my idea of the BJP. I am deliberately raking this issue up today because I believe that this party can benefit the country a lot. But the country cannot be benefitted just by winning state elections, we have to have the policy of complete intolerance towards indiscipline and corruption," he added.
Notably, on April 04, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had said, “Everyone is saying that I have repaid the debt of Gujarat. Now people are asking me to repay the debt owed to India."
Meanwhile, BJP president Rajnath Singh avoided a direct reply on whether Narendra Modi would be the party`s prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
"Every party has a style of functioning and it runs according to that. Last time when I was the party president, had to propose a prime ministerial candidate, I had consulted the parliamentary board and proposed (senior leader LK) Advani`s name. This time also we will call a meeting of the central parliamentary board and it will decide whether to project him or not," he said.
With Agency Inputs
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