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BJP appeals to Advani to return
June 07, 2005 16:26 IST
Last Updated: June 07, 2005 17:51 IST
Breaking its silence on party president L K Advani's resignation, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday came out strongly in his defence and said that his commitment to nationalism cannot be questioned and the party needed his leadership.
"Advaniji's commitment to nationalism and the nationalist ideology cannot be questioned in any manner. The party has reached its current heights due to his contribution," party vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told PTI.
He said the party's senior leaders have met and appealed to Advani to withdraw his resignation. "We told him that the party needs his dynamic and strong leadership," Naqvi said.
Naqvi was part of the party delegation, which tried to persuade Advani to withdraw his resignation. Other leaders included M Venkaiah Naidu, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar.
Naqvi's statement comes after Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia's fresh attack on Advani describing the resignation as a "victory of patriotism over treason."
Meanwhile, the party's Gujarat unit has adopted a 'wait and watch' policy over the resignation of party president Advani, who is the Gandhinagar MP.
"The news has just come in. The party will sit together and ponder over the developments that have occurred and decide what to do next," state BJP president Vaju Vala told PTI.
Asked if he thought that Advani's move was due to "extreme pressure" from the Sangh Parivar, Vala said he could not comment on the matter.
The Maharashtra unit, though, has urged Advani to withdraw his resignation in the interest of the party.
"BJP needs the services of a senior leader of Advani's stature and it will be in the interest of the party that he withdraws his resignation as party chief," state BJP president
Nitin Gadkari Gadkari told PTI from Nagpur.
Gadkari said: "Advani's remarks regarding Jinnah have been twisted out of context and this misquoting has led to much misunderstanding. Those who know Jinnah will take Advani's remarks in the proper perspective."
The Kerala unit termed as "unfortunate" and "painful," Advani's decision to resign.
"It is quite unfortunate and also painful that Advaniji has decided to quit the party post," BJP state president, P S Sreedharan Pillai said.
Expressing the hope that Advani would reconsider his decision, Pillai said he was not aware of the details of the resignation letter submitted by Advani earlier in the day.
The Orissa unit requested Advani to reconsider his decision.
"I am shocked and I am sorry," state party president Jual Oram said. "We have requested him to reconsider his decision as his departure will affect the moral of the partymen," Oram told PTI here.
Terming the developments leading to Advani's resignation as 'an internal matter', the Congress said that his resignation proved that the BJP was an "intolerant" party.
"It is an internal matter of the party. However the BJP itself is intolerant. The intolerance of the BJP is now proved," senior Congress leader and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.
Referring to Advani's praise for the founder of Pakistan, Mukherjee said, "Jinnah had advocated the two nation theory, and it is hard to accept that he uttered words for secularism. Secularism and the two-nation theory cannot go together. Jinnah was the father of the two nation theory."
Expressing surprise at Advani considering Jinnah secular, Mukherjee said what happened in Pakistan in the last 50 years "does not represent" this. He said that RSS was a frontal organisation of BJP and it was the base of the party. "Even Vajpayee and Advani have proclaimed themselves as swamsevaks."
Dubbing the resignation as "drama", railway minister and Rashtriya Janata Party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav said if he was serious he should resign from the RSS and also take action against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
"If resigned, stick to it. Resign from the RSS membership, initiate action against Modi, repent for Babri Masjid demolition", he said adding even Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, after Agra Summit had blamed "one person, Advani, for its failure". The RJD chief, however, described Mohammad Ali Jinnah a secular leader and said all those who know history will say so after reading it.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M Karunanidhi refused to comment on Advani's resignation from his post, saying it was an "internal matter" of the party.
"It is an internal matter of that party. I do not want to say anything on that", he told reporters who sought his comments on Advani's resignation.
Asked whether the resignation would have an impact on national politics, Karunanidhi said, "Nothing could be said, as of now."
The Communist Party of India said that the developments in the BJP, including Advani's resignation, were a reflection of the ongoing crisis in the party ever since its debacle in the Lok Saha elections.
"Ever since they were rejected by the people in the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and Sangh Parivar have been in deep crisis--idelogicial, political and organisational. "The recent developments show BJP is in disarray. And his resignation is a reflection of the ongoing crisis," CPI Secretary D Raja said in his reaction to the crisis in the BJP.