In a significant statement, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani said in Nagpur on Wednesday that he had got much more than the Prime Minister's post.
Mr. Advani made the remark after meeting Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat.
“I would only say that I first became a swayamsevak [of the RSS], then a member of the Jan Sangh and then the BJP. I feel that what I have got from these organisations, from my fellow workers and what the country has given me is much more than the Prime Minister's post,” he told reporters.
Asked if the motive behind his planned yatra against corruption was his prime ministerial ambition, he said: “I am afraid these are not related.” He had come to Nagpur to seek Mr. Bhagwat's blessings for the yatra.
The RSS denied influencing the decision. “Let me state it categorically that the sangh does not give any diktats to party leaders,” RSS leader Ram Madhav said. “To conclude there was a diktat from the RSS to any of these things is not correct,” he said, adding such issues were up to the BJP leadership to decide “within its own wisdom.”
Mr. Madhav said Mr. Advani discussed with Mr. Bhagwat his yatra and the situation in the country. RSS volunteers would “actively participate” in the yatra.
To a question whether the RSS' support to the yatra was promised after Mr. Advani agreed not to project himself as a prime ministerial candidate, he said there were “no strings attached.”