Senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani in a blog today expressed his views on a host of issues. The blog is seen more as a conversation with the party cadres, especially at a time when not agreeing with the government is being widely dubbed as anti-national in many quarters. He has been upset since he was overlooked and BJP president Amit Shah decided to contest from Gandhinagar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also tweeting Mr Advani’s blog, said that the veteran leader perfectly summed up the true essence of the party.
“Advani Ji perfectly sums up the true essence of BJP, most notably the guiding Mantra of ‘Nation First, Party Next, Self Last.’ Proud to be a BJP Karyakarta and proud that greats like LK Advani Ji have strengthened (sic),” PM Modi tweeted.
The BJP veteran, one of the party’s founder members, has been smarting since he was shafted and BJP president Amit Shah decided to contest from Gandhinagar in Gujarat, a seat Mr Advani, 91, has held for six terms.
“Defense of democracy and democratic traditions, both within the Party and in the larger national setting, has been the proud hallmark of the BJP,” Mr Advani wrote.
“The essence of Indian democracy is respect for diversity and freedom of expression. Right from its inception, the BJP has never regarded those who disagree with us politically as our ‘enemies’, but only as our adversaries.”
He said similarly, “in our conception of Indian nationalism, we have never regarded those who disagree with us politically as anti-national. The party has been committed to freedom of choice of every citizen at personal as well as political level.”
The BJP had always been in the forefront of demanding protection of independence, integrity, fairness and robustness of all democratic institutions, including the media, Mr Advani reminded, referring to the Emergency.