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Old September 22nd, 2011, 07:26 PM
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Question Twist in the tale?

Advani gives it back to Modi

AHMEDABAD: Turbulence is only mounting in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after their octogenarian leader and prime ministerial aspirant Lal Krishna Advani was candidly told by Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh ( RSS) to opt out of power politics and work for the party as only a mentor.

It appears that Sangh supremo Mohan Bhagwat also suggested to Advani, when the two met in Nagpur on Wednesday for clearance from the Sangh Parivar for the rathyatra against corruption, that leaders like Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi should not contest elections any more and thus pave the way for Generation Next.

Hurt by this snub which, he felt, was orchestrated by Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, Advani has decided to dissociate himself from day-to-day party rituals. But now that he does not need Modi's help to win from Gandhinagar, he is sending signals back to his constituency.

To begin with, he will break the tradition of 20 years on September 25 of visiting Somnath from where, on this day, he started his first rathyatra to Ayodhya and went on to become deputy PM. This has caught Modi by surprise because on this very day, he had planned a huge rally outside Ahmedabad. It was planned in such a way that Advani would first visit Somnath and then fly down to Ahmedabad to address the rally, where Modi would have launched his war for the governor's recall over Lokayukta row. Now that Advani is not coming, Modi isn't inviting anyone else.

Not only has Advani decided not to be in Gujarat on September 25, for the first time since 1990, his office has also sent a request to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to flag off his rathyatra from Sitabdiara in Saran, Bihar, the birthplace of Jay Prakash Narayan. All BJP chief ministers, including Modi, have been invited to this location which was suggested by Modi, even as Advani's choices were Porbandar and Karamsad. Nitish's office, however, has not responded to BJP's request yet. The event is scheduled for October 11, JP's birthday. BJP insiders say Advani was also hurt by Modi's delay in giving nod for the rathyatra's launch in Gujarat and, instead, embarking on a three-day fast to brazenly proclaim his leadership.

Describing his absence at Somnath as "very symbolic", an Advani aide said, "I don't think the old man will give up so easily. In 2014, when the next elections will be held, he will be 86. He is very fit and there is likelihood of possible allies like Naveen Patnaik, Chandrababu Naidu, Ajit Singh, Om Prakash Chautala, Jaganmohan Reddy and others accepting him as a leader than anyone else."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...w/10085779.cms
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