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

Alive - - Contents - by Ravin­der Kumar

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.

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