I as a self professed and a firm believer of BJP and their liberal political agenda is miffed at the way Mr Advani has acted over the past few months. Before going further, let me put in a disclaimer – even though, I like BJP, but that is restricted to their liberal and reform agenda and not at all related to any communal stuff, that many pseudo secular parties claim to be so.
Well, coming back to Mr Advani. I strongly believe, Mr Advani should ideally have left his desires of the PM chair and should have eased into political retirement. Performing a role of an ideologue and patriarch to the core would have better suited him at the age of 86. Not that he is not a known politician across the country. He is well known political face across the length and breadth of the country. He had even served as the Deputy Prime Minister and the Home Minister under Vajpayee NDA government. However, the desire to host the National Flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort one day continues to rage. And this desire is affecting the party and its Mission 272+ for sure.
Mr Advani’s antics are surely hampering the party and its image. His discomfort with Mr Narendra Modi is well known and it even goes to the extent of becoming a butt of all jokes at such a critical time and causes embarrassment. The question is, Is this discomfort only due to his desire to be the PM of India and hence, not liking the idea of Mr Modi being projected the NDA’s PM candidate? To a common man, that is one probable reason that would easily come to fore, as Mr Advani’s desire to be the PM of India is a part of the Indian political folklore.
As a common man with considerable interest in Indian politics (for it affects the country directly and indirectly), I believe, this discomfort also sums from the perceived authoritarian image of Mr Modi. It is widely perceived that Mr Modi will get his way out, some way or the other and hence, can easily cut to size the likes of Mr Advani. Please keep in mind that under the load of 2 successive defeats at the hands of congress in 2000s and especially after Mr Advani paving way for Ms Sushma Swaraj as the Leader of Opposition, after 2009 defeat, he was sort of left in the lurch, may be even demoted to a wise patriarch. Imagine all this after being the face of BJP for decades.
I also feel, Mr Modi’s ever gaining popularity and image as messiah of all development in Gujarat, would have also played into Mr Advani’s mind. His rise as one of the most sought after leader in BJP in all campaigns over the past few years, might also be adding to all this. Add to this the rock star status that Mr Modi has enjoyed for some time. And all hell broke, as they say.
In all this, Mr Advani never ever thought of the party (or maybe he thought), as it looks to a common man and supporter. May be he could have handled it better, by at least not making his displeasure public by resigning from all party posts. And when all was going fine, he did it again; by giving conflicting statements over his choice of seat to fight the General Elections next month. Finally, he agreed to his existing seat Gandhinagar in Mr Modi’s Gujarat.Ideally, one would have liked Mr Advani to have taken a back seat and accepted the new generation and acted like an elder statesman, guiding the party in these crucial times.