Modi camp jittery over Advani rally

September 12 2013

With the L.K. Advani Versus Narendra Modi fight coming out in the open, all eyes in the BJP are on the BJP patriarch’s rally this Sunday at Akola near the historic Fatehpur Sikri. Advani has already expressed to BJP president Rajnath Singh his reservations over projecting Modi as the prime ministerial candidate.

The Modi camp fears that if Singh goes ahead with his plan to get the BJP poster boy’s name cleared as the prime ministerial candidate by a majority vote in the BJP parliamentary board meeting on Friday, Advani might be at his attacking best at the Akola rally.

The Modi camp apprehends that Advani might obliquely make public some of his concerns that he raised with Singh over Modi as prime ministerial candidate. According to sources, Advani told Singh on Wednesday that he was only fighting to save the party and had no personal ambitions.

Advani strongly feels that declaring Modi’s name at this juncture will be very damaging for the party.
He told Singh that the atmosphere in the country was for the BJP at the moment, but declaring Modi’s name will polarise the electorate and “hand over the power to the Congress on a platter in 2014”.

Virtually lecturing Singh on the responsibilities a party president ought to carry out, Advani reminded the Thakur leader that he himself had been party president four times in the past. He told Rajnath Singh that a party president was not supposed to express his preference for an individual, even obliquely, in the manner Rajnath Singh rooted for Modi.

Advani told Singh that other leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Murli Manohar Joshi, Anant Kumar and Nitin Gadkari were also opposed to declaring Modi’s name at this juncture. Sources said at one point of time, Singh told Advani that the Sangh wanted Modi’s name to be declared as there was an undercurrent in the country in the favour of the Gujarat chief minister. At this, Advani questioned Singh, saying if Sangh wanted to impose Modi, why had it left the decision on the BJP.

The BJP is in a quandary over the Akola rally, the preparations for which are being supervised by Varun Gandhi. A lot of propaganda has been done for the rally, showcasing Advani as the star speaker. So there’s no questioning of cancelling it even if Advani chooses to swim against the current in the BJP over the Modi issue.

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