Bowing to RSS diktat, Advani backs down

Under pressure from the RSS, senior BJP leader L. K. Advani took down the banner of revolt he raised on Monday and withdrew his resignation from three party posts.

In a terse letter to the party president Rajnath Singh, Mr. Advani had said, “For some time, I have been finding it difficult to reconcile either with the current functioning of the party, or the direction in which it is going... most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas.”

Having escalated the issue and castigated the entire leadership, Mr. Advani, on Tuesday, had little option but to take back his resignation without gaining anything in return once the RSS chief issued a diktat.

The tame end to the high drama was preceded by hectic negotiations between senior BJP leaders and the RSS leaders in Nagpur. Ultimately, the RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat picked up the phone and asked Mr. Advani to reconcile to the changed situation in the BJP.

Around 6 p.m., party leaders including Rajnath Singh gathered at the residence of Mr. Advani where Mr. Singh read out a prepared statement. The man who has been in the eye of the storm for almost a week was conspicuous by his absence.

Asked about it, the BJP president said that since it would be inappropriate for a leader of Mr. Advani’s stature to be present at a news conference where he was the subject of the matter, he had requested him to stay away .

The statement said, “The BJP Parliamentary Board yesterday decided not to accept Shri L.K. Advani’s resignation from the three main fora of the Party — the National Executive, Parliamentary Board and Election Committee and requested him to continue to be a member of these three Bodies.

“On behalf of the Party, Shri Rajnath Singh assured Shri Advani that his concerns about the functioning of the Party would be properly addressed and the President will discuss the modalities of addressing these concerns with Shri Advani.

“Today afternoon, RSS Sarsanghchalak, Shri Mohan Bhagwat spoke to Shri Advani and asked him to respect the BJP Parliamentary Board decision and continue to guide the Party in the national interest. Shri Advani has decided to accept Shri Bhagwat’s advice.”

Hours before the RSS stepped in, the BJP chief was at pains to explain that the RSS was not involved in backseat driving and there was no interference from the Sangh in the internal affairs of his party. He termed such reports as “unfounded and without any basis.” He said that none of the RSS leaders had given any statement in this regard.

The party spokesperson and MP Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said that the RSS had only described the situation arising out of the resignation of Mr. Advani as “unfortunate.” He insisted there was neither any direction nor any interference from the RSS. Earlier in the day, former Union minister Jaswant Singh backed Mr. Advani. “A solution should be found soon to the questions raised by Advaniji. This is in the interest of the party. This is in the interest of the nation,” Mr. Singh said after meeting Mr. Advani here.

In Nagpur, former BJP President Nitin Gadkari said the party needs the guidance of a veteran leader like Advani at this juncture. “We will pray to him to reconsider and I am confident he will take back his resignation,” Mr. Gadkari said.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2021 3:01:52 PM |

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