Given an Opportunity, I Would Like to be in Politics ANOTHER FAN
I am very fond of Modi and share a close association with him, says Jayant
It is still not clear whether LK Advani will have any role in a Narendra Modi-led government, but BJP patriarch’s son Jayant is certain that he wants to join the party and make a foray into full-time politics. In a candid interview to Bhavna Vij-Aurora, Advani junior opens up about his fondness for Modi and his father’s contribution to the party. You have been campaigning for your father in Gandhinagar and even visit the constituency regularly, have you ever considered joining politics and follow in his footsteps? If given an opportunity, I would certainly like to be in politics. Till now my role has been confined to campaigning in Gujarat. What has prompted you to consider politics? I feel I have an aptitude for it, otherwise I wouldn’t have even thought about it. I have grown up in a political environment and that’s what I have seen and learnt all my life. Politics gives you power, ability and means to bring about change in the lives of people. If used for the purpose, then it is worth it. What has been your experience of campaigning in Gandhinagar? I have been campaigning in Gandhinagar since 1991. This is the sixth election my father is contesting from the constituency. From all my experiences of campaigning, I can say very confidently that in this election people have made up their mind to vote out the Congress and bring in a new government led by Narendra bhai. People are looking for a change. How is your equation with Modi? I am very fond of him and share a close association with him. I have known him since I was a child. Whenever we meet, we discuss a lot of issues, including political and nonpolitical. And just like the rest of the country, I also sincerely hope that he becomes the next prime minister. What role will your father play in a government led by Modi? He has been asked this question before and he has said that he will carry out whatever work is assigned to him by the party. What was your reaction when Mr Advani was thinking of shifting his seat from Gandhinagar to Bhopal? I am glad he retained Gandhinagar since he has been representing the constituency for a long time. Did you advise him as a son? I was travelling at that time. By the time I returned, he had taken the right decision, and the issue stood closed. Since you have campaigned with your father in Gandhinagar, do you see yourself contesting from there some day? It’s difficult to answer since I don’t know what will happen in the future. What do you think of the so-called pro-Advani and anti-Advani groups in the party? His contribution to the party is immense. He considers the whole party to be his family. He does not believe in any internal groups within the party. How was it growing up in a political household? I got to meet and interact with a lot of people. There were challenges too. The emergency period from June 1975 to January 1977 was the most trying time and a tough period for families of all the opposition leaders who were sent to jail. I was in school at that time. It was difficult to understand what emergency was all about and why it was imposed. It was a dark chapter of 19 months. It was a big challenge for my mother to run the house in those days as my father was in jail and there was no earning member. Coming back to the elections, what do you think were the main issues? Unbearable price rise, rampant corruption, unemployment, women’s safety, farmers’ suicides. People were angry and looking for a change. Do you think that’s the reason for the high voter turnout? Yes. I think it’s a healthy sign in a democracy that a voter knows what kind of a government and leadership he/she wants.