New Delhi: L K Advani will play a role well
beyond the specially-created position of Chairman of BJP
Parliamentary party, according to the new party President
Nitin Gadkari who made it clear that the 82-year-old veteran
will be a "permanent guide and philosopher" for the whole
"Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani are our role models
and source of inspiration.....Advaniji will be permanent guide
and philosopher for the whole party," Gadkari told a news agency in an
He was responding when asked whether Advani`s role would
be limited to BJP`s Parliamentary affairs after his
appointment to the newly-created post of Chairman of
Advani quit the post of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha
on December 18 in the face of attacks from within following
the party`s dismal performance in the general elections. He
was made the Chairman of Parliamentary Party, a move that gave
an impression that his role would be confined to Parliamentary
affairs of the party.
52-year-old Gadkari, who is a new-comer at the national
scene, does not see it as a disadvantage but feels it is an
"asset" as he would not be "biased".
Gadkari, whose appointment on December 18 came at a time
when the party is going through a bad phase, said some
corrective measures were needed and he would bring out a
blueprint in this regard within three months.
Gadkari, a management graduate who has the challenging
task of reviving the party that has been going through bad
phase and has been afflicted by infighting, said his remedial
mantra was that leaders should speak less to media.
He said most of the problems plaguing BJP were due to
unnecessary talking by some leaders, both on-the-record and
off-the-record and this needs to be stopped.
"Kam bolna, nahi bolna (speaking less, not speaking). This
is the exact medicine my party needs. It will take care of 90
per cent of our problems," the new BJP chief said.
Gadkari said he would enforce discipline in the party
along with mutual trust and would soon come out with detailed
plans for the organisation and a political strategy to expand
its base as also broaden the NDA.
Some senior leaders have been leaking details of internal
confabulations as well as communications to press and taking
pot-shots at their colleagues through the media.
Gadkari does not want to talk about events that happened
in the party before he took over its reins. "Choro kal ki
baatein, kal ki baat purani (let bygones by bygones)," he said
reciting the famous song of `Hum Hindustani` movie and added
that he wanted to work for a bright future for the party.
The BJP chief said he would lay thrust on "performance
audit" for the leaders who would be given responsibilities to
revive the party and expand its base among various castes and
communities and regions.
His aim is to increase the party`s vote-share by 10 per
cent and expand its reach to the south, West Bengal and
Gadkari, however, said there was no question of the party
diluting its stand on Hindutva, contending that even the
Supreme Court has held it as a "way of life". He insisted that
Hindutva or BJP was not anti-minority.
Policies of the organisation do not change with the change
of president, he underlined.
He said the BJP, through its political and organisational
blueprint, would aim at winning over the minorities besides
expanding base among the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and
Other Backward Classes.
Asked how he plans to go about it, the new president said
he would ask the party leaders and cadres to follow the policy
of Antyodaya - working for the last man in the queue.
Gadkari, whose being brought at the helm of affairs took
many in the party by surprise, said his endeavour would be to
win new friends to make the NDA strong.
He evaded questions on return of leaders like Uma Bharti
and Kalyan Singh, saying no such proposal had come from them
Gadkari dismissed suggestions that he was an appointee
of the RSS and maintained that senior leaders of the party,
including Advani and Rajnath Singh zeroed-in on him for the
"I have a strong political will and commitment for the
organisation and no biased approach and a transparent way of
working," he said.
Contending that he would devote himself entirely to the
organisation, thus setting an example for partymen, the BJP
chief said he has no plans of entering either House of