Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh
New Delhi: LK Advani is probably at a juncture in his life where he does not know which road to take. When all efforts by top BJP and RSS leaders to placate the octogenarian leader and make him agree on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s candidature as Bhartiya Janata Party`s PM candidate failed, party president finally had to bite the bullet and make the announcement which the cadres were clamouring for.
However, as senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said to a TV channel, it was `sad` to see Advani missing on the stage when Modi`s name was announced. Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley and even those who were said to be from the party patriarch`s camp, MM Joshi and Sushma Swaraj were there in support of Modi.
Infact, Advani not only did not attend the BJP parliamentary board meet which decided on Modi`s name, he even shot off a letter to Rajnath Singh expressing his `disappointment` at the style of functioning of the party president.
Anyway, what`s done cannot be undone; however, the question that is being asked now is that what will be Advani`s next move now? When the Gujarat CM was appointed the BJP`s poll panel chief in the Goa conclave in June this year, the senior leader had resigned from all party posts, only to take it back a day later.
But, now if he does something on the similar lines then may risk lowering his stature not only within his party but amongst the people of this country too. And if he goes public with his criticism and objections to Modi`s anointment as PM candidate, then it will only lead to BJP being embarrassed at a time when it is taking on the Congress on issues of corruption and policy paralysis and hoping to come back to power after a decade at the Centre. Also, it will only give credence to the Opposition`s remarks that the BJP is a house divided.
It is said that Advani was opposed to Modi`s name being announced before the Assembly elections in four states that is due later this year, the argument being that the move will give the Congress an upper hand as the Gujarat CM is a polarising figure. However, there is a section which feels that Advani still harbours the ambition to become the prime minister of India and wants to take a last shot at it as age is not on his said.
But after Advani failed to lead his party to power in 2009 Lok Sabha polls it had more or less become clear that the BJP would have to look beyond the senior leader. The RSS too reportedly told Advani that he was not acceptable to them as face of BJP. And with Modi`s popularity said to be growing not only within the party but outside too, the party had no choice then to make the calculated move, in order to wrest power from Congress-led UPA government in 2014.
Whether the move will pay them dividends on not will only be known in a matter of time. Meanwhile, there are many who feel that Advani could have avoided the imbroglio that he has put himself in by being practical and handing the baton to his protégé and bowing out of the party with respect by being its mentor and accepting the role of the guardian.
Meanwhile, both Modi and Advani met in the national capital on Sunday at veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani`s residence.