New Delhi: Veteran BJP leader LK Advani on Tuesday turned emotional on his 84th birthday as party colleagues heaped praises on him for his leadership quality.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley, former party president Rajnath Singh and Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand along with a galaxy of BJP leaders called on Advani at his residence in the national capital. As they showered praises at him during his birthday celebration function, the octogenarian leader was seen wiping tears and left the dais for a few minutes to regain his composure.
"All these leaders have praised me as a family member praises a head of the family," Advani said.
Advani recalled his long association with the Rashtriya Swayamswevak Sangh (RSS). Speaking to reporters, Advani said, “I have been fortunate enough to be associated with the RSS for a long time.”
He also referred to the RSS as his ideological family and remembered how he joined as a "swayamsewak" at the age of 14.
Referring to the RSS as his family, Advani said, “Family is the biggest institution where one learns and the RSS has been my family all through my life.”
The BJP veteran took a break from his Jan Chetna Yatra across the country against corruption to celebrate his birthday.
No RSS leader was present at the programme. Though this was said to be a party programme, usually a senior functionary of the RSS represents the Sangh on such occasions.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari, and senior leaders M Venkaiah Naidu and Ananth Kumar were conspicuous by their absence at the celebrations. Several other senior party leaders - including those from Delhi- also did not turn up to wish Advani.