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10 Janpath could have been my residence, not Sonia's: Advani

Last updated on: March 9, 2012 17:04 IST

10 Janpath could have been my residence, not Sonia's: Advani

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Pointing out that 10 Janpath, Congress President Sonia Gandhi's residence, is the most important address and not 7 Race Course Road, the prime minister's residence, Bharatiya Janata Party veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani has said it may well have become his residence, had he agreed to late Rajiv Gandhi's proposal way back in 1991.

In his latest blog on Holi, he has a tail piece on the subject. When in 1989, V P Singh of the Janata Dal became prime minister with the outside support of the BJP and the Left Front, Rajiv was named leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha.

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Image: Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pose for photographers at 10, Janpath in New Delhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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10 Janpath could have been my residence, not Sonia's: Advani

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But in 1991, the BJP withdrew its support. The Congress then decided to support Janata Dal's Chandrashekhar for prime ministership. Rajiv conveyed this to the President as the party president.

The immediate upshot of this was that the Lok Sabha speaker called Rajiv and conveyed to him that having written a letter to the President, that he was supporting the prime minister, his party could no longer be regarded an opposition party, and so he could no longer remain the leader of Opposition.

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Image: Rajiv Gandhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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10 Janpath could have been my residence, not Sonia's: Advani

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The speaker also conveyed to Advani that he would be the leader of Opposition since the BJP then became the main Opposition.

"I remember next morning I received a phone call from Rajivji, firstly congratulating me for having become leader of Opposition, and secondly, suggesting that I quit my Pandara Park residence, and shift to 10, Janpath. He said he would shift to some other bungalow."

"He said just as 7, Race Course Road is the permanent residence of the prime minister, let 10, Janpath become the permanent residence of the leader of Opposition.  I thanked him for the offer, but declined to accept it."


Image: Bharatiya Janata Party veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani


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