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Advani-BJP tiff resolved as RSS intervenes

Last updated on: June 11, 2013 19:37 IST

Advani-BJP tiff resolved as RSS intervenes

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Bharatiya Janata Party Tuesday reached a truce with sulking patriarch L K Advani who agreed not to press for his resignation from key party posts after Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh intervened to end the two-day crisis triggered by his opposition to Narendra Modi's elevation.

"Today afternoon, RSS sarsanghchalak (chief) Shri Mohan Bhagwat spoke to Shri Advani and asked him to respect BJP Parliamentary Board decision and continue to guide the party in national interest.

"Shri Advani has decided to accept Shri Bhagwat's advice," said a statement read out by party president Rajnath Singh after meeting Advani in the company of other leaders.

Flanked by leaders including Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari, Singh made the announcement at Advani's residence but the party veteran was conspicuous by his absence.

Asked why Advani was not present, Singh said, "I told him that this is my press conference and it will not look nice that you sit and hear me."

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Image: L K Advani greeting Rajnath Singh in this 2005 photograph
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

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'No going back on Modi's elevation'

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In a bid to mollify Advani, Singh said he had assured him that all his "concerns" regarding functioning of the party, which he had cited as a reason for quitting the party posts, would be "properly addressed".

"The president will discuss the modalities of addressing these concerns with Shri Advani," Singh said without elaborating.

Earlier in the day, the party chief made it clear that there will be no going back on the decision to appoint Modi as campaign committee chief, a major cause for Advani's resignation.

The denouement to the two-day political drama came after hectic parleys and persuasion by a number of leaders who met Advani and impressed on him the need to end the crisis triggered by his resignation.

Modi, whose elevation was the bone of contention, immediately welcomed Advani's decision.

"I had said yesterday that Advaniji will not disappoint lakhs of workers. Today, I wholeheartedly welcome his decision," he tweeted.

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Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
Photographs: Reuters

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'Advaniji will remain our guide'

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Rajnath Singh recalled that the BJP Parliamentary Board had Monday night decided not to accept Advani's resignation from the National Executive, Parliamentary Board and the Election Committee and requested him to continue to be a member of these bodies.

Singh, who appointed Modi as campaign committee chairman two days back triggering Advani's resignation, earlier ruled out a rethink on that decision.

"Who is talking about changing the decision?... Where am I changing my decision," he told reporters in Banswada in Rajasthan when asked whether he would remain "firm" on his decision or change it in view of Advani's resignation.

To a question on Advani, he said, "He has been our guide, is our guide and will remain our guide.

Before the resolution of the issue, a host of leaders like M M Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, Gopinath Munde, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Kalraj Mishra and Gopinath Munde flocked to Advani's residence to persuade him to reconsider his decision, saying his "guidance" was required by the party.

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Photographs: Reuters

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'Solutions to questions raised by Advani in BJP's interest'

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Amidst these efforts, Advani got backing from Jaswant Singh who said a solution should be found to the questions raised the veteran leader soon in the interest of the party as well as the nation.

Jaswant Singh, considered close of Advani, also expressed hope that a solution will be found when asked whether Advani will reconsider his decision to quit.

"A solution should be found soon to the questions raised by Advani ji. This is in the interest of the party. This is in the interest of the nation," Singh said after meeting Advani in Delhi.

 


Image: Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Jaswant Singh
Photographs: Reuters

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