Lal Krishna Advani: PM in waiting is over, now it is President in waiting
PM in waiting is over, now it is President in waiting
The grand oldman of BJP was failed by his own party on many occasions and now he may have to live in constant regret.
Is it destiny or the game that fate plays or simple politics that Lal Krishna Advani’s wait to occupy the highest office whether of the government or of the state, has become endless?
One would be tempted to say the game of politics is very dirty. Its most glaring example is found in the Mahabharata, where Bheeshma Pitamah bore uncountable arrows on his body and ultimately had to lay on a bed of arrows till he breathed his last.
Lal Krishna Advani is passing through more or less similar experience. He cherished a dream of becoming country’s Prime Minister all through his life but in the end of the day he was elbowed out of this race to 7 Race Course Road.
There is not an iota of doubt that Advani is permanently out of race to PM-ship. Next month, country is going to elect its fourteenth President and the ruling party at the Centre BJP has picked Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind for the highest post. With this, Lal Krishna Advani has lost the last hope of occupying any high post in his political career.
Lal Krishna Advani’s condition has become very much like that of Bheeshma, who could do nothing but reflect on his glorious past and mourn some of his major decisions that he had taken during his lifetime. Just like Bheeshma, Advani has two choices – either mourn over his erroneous decisions or repent on them.
It may also happen that Lal Krishna Advani ultimately admits that he committed blunder mistakes in the game of politics. It is certain that Chela (disciple) will not allow his Guru in any condition to overtake him and now it is too late for the Guru to start an agitation against the Chela.
Forget the beginning and the end. Let us focus on the middle of the story. No man of pen will perhaps care to write about Advani. It is also certain that the coming generation will read about Lal Krishna Advani in textbooks only.
Advani – the ʻLiving Legendʼ
Two people have made the most important contribution in reaching the BJP to its present pinnacle in the country. And Lal Krishna Advani is at the number one position. He is the politician who had infused life in BJP when it was reduced to just two seats in Lok Sabha in 1984.
Apart from Advani, the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also made significant contribution in BJP’s elevation. It won’t be wrong to say that these two played all important role in developing the party. The young generation would not be aware that once Advani held the sway in Opposition politics. He used to be worshiped literally. Babri Masjid had not been demolished then and when Advani took out his famous or notorious Rath Yatra, he was promoting Hindutva and BJP both.
Charged in Babri case
Never before in the history of Independent India had such massive rallies been taken out. As a result, BJP consolidated its strength in Parliament from two to 182 within five years. From its citadel in northern India, BJP spread its tentacles in other states. Now, BJP that was once called a ‘party of Baniyas’ became acceptable to Jaats also.
With growing popularity, BJP eventually emerged as the single largest party in 1996 and then in 1998 Lok Sabha elections and was called to form the government. But on both occasions, Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister of a coalition government. Advani was regarded as a highly disputed politician and even the alliance partners in
the coalition were not willing to see him occupy the highest post. Thus he was deprived of the chance to head the government mainly due to coalition compulsions.
Even before the last general elections, when the question of choosing Prime Ministerial candidate was raised, Advani put tough resistance to Modi’s name. Despite his opposition, Modi was chosen vehemently to lead BJP in elections. His selection for the coveted post infused new life and enthusiasm in the party. BJP entered the polls with a new ideology. In short, BJP has come far ahead of the times of Advani.
Apparently, Narendra Modi’s ascension has isolated Advani in the party which he had nurtured all through his life. He is now a lone man. Advani has never expressed any desire to become the presidential candidate or gave any indications about it. Albeit, his supporters kept on highlighting his name.
Some months ago, during the hearing in Babri demolition case, the special court had ruled that he would have to face trial in criminal case. It had become clear then that now it would be impossible for Advani to join the race for presidential election.
According to senior journalist Prashant Tandan, “Advani had been marginalised in politics a long time ago. Now, even his age is not supporting him. He had already lost the chance to become the President when he reached near about 90. No one had been elected President at 90 in the history of India.”
Desire could not fructify
Advani will turn 90 on 8 November this year. Political analysts maintain that Advani should have no regrets now. He has gained as much as he deserved in his political career. Vajpayee appointed him as the deputy Prime Minister even though there was no tradition or protocol for it.
It is, however, inappropriate to write about a senior politician that it is time to quit and go in exile. Narsimha Rao was about to leave Delhi for Hyderabad and at the last moment arrived invitation for him to become the Prime Minister. But the prevailing circumstances are not favourable for Advani.
Had BJP selected Advani as its candidate for the presidential post, it would have created problems for the party itself. This is perhaps the reason BJP is not inclined to offer him any higher position.
Current circumstances indicate that wait of Advani will never end. He may have to live with a regret that he could become neither the Prime Minister nor the President.
President nominee Ram Nath Kovind with PM Narendra Modi.