Patriarchs and ‘Grand Old Man’ of political parties do not resort to the miffed antics when a generational change of leadership is in the offing and when the BJP stands poised to capture power in New Delhi. BJP’s Advani has exactly done that. Advani has opened up the BJP to political ridicule by skipping the National Executive Meet currently underway in Goa. If he was really unwell he could have addressed the Meet via Satellite TV and blessed Modi’s anointing as BJP’s as star campaigner. Not only did Advani not do that, he also did not direct his acolytes in BJP who also stayed away from Goa Meet on ground s of feigned illness.
Advani has completely and unforgivably forfeited the respect and honour that was his till this political shenanigan, unexpected of ‘BJP’s Tallest Leader’. He has reduced himself to a factional leader of the BJP where as I brought out in my earlier Columns, the impelling motive was not BJP’s victory in the General Elections which now seem to be called at short notice. Advani’s current political postures within the BJP to oppose Modi’s elevation are more impelled by a burning desire to keep himself in the race for Prime Minister Candidate for the next round.
The game seems to have been give away in a TV interview by his acolyte from Gorakhpur, a Swami, who opined that just as the Vajpayee-Advani team ran the BJP Government last time, an Advani-Modi combine can do so now. It seemed that what he was suggesting was that Advani should be the BJP’s candidate for Prime Minister for the up-coming General Elections and Modi can be the Deputy Prime Minister.
Pointed out in my last two Columns was the stark reality that Advani and the other miffed BJP leaders in the Advani Camp are swimming against the tide of BJP cadres sentiments but also swimming against the tide of massive Indian public opinion across India as a whole.
Political patriarchs and ‘Grand Old Man’ of any political party are expected to rise up over and above their own political ambitions and preferences.
If the BJP is really a Party that boasts of ‘Inner Party Democracy’, then Advani having expressed his political preference should have moved away gracefully saying that he had expressed his opinions and now the BJP National Executive can go ahead with whatever decision that respects the sentiments of BJP cadres.
Advani has done exactly the opposite. Not only has he moved away gracefully but in public perceptions he is still fighting a rear-guard battle to somehow remain in the prime-ministerial race.
He could have rode into the sunset with glory but today in terms of perceptions it is political diminution which now hovers over his erstwhile halo.