Advani continues to sulk, BJP waits for blog 'bomb’; Congress targets RSS


New Delhi/Mumbai: Even as the BJP’s 'Loha Purush’ (Iron Man) showed no signs of melting and continued to sulk, senior BJP leaders are keenly waiting for his next blog where he is likely to pour his heart out over the nomination of Narendra Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
An active blogger, Advani has conspicuously remained silent on Modi and the way he was nominated. But he is not likely to remain silent for long and is known to put forth his feeling strongly even if it meant treading on the toes of the BJP and the RSS. His last blog was on September 12 on Dr Ambedkar’s historic revelation on Savarkar. From history, Advani is likely to jump headlong into his story.
Meanwhile, senior party leaders including Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj met him in an apparent bid to mollify him and later denied that the party patriarch is upset.
A day after he skipped the Parliamentary Board meeting which chose Modi as the party's PM candidate, Advani was closeted in his house.
Swaraj, Ananth Kumar, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Balbir Punj met Advani to discuss Modi's elevation and his disappointment with Rajnath Singh's style of functioning.
BJP President Rajnath Singh told reporters in Mumbai that as a patriarch Advani has every right to scold or admonish any party leader if he sees any shortcomings.
"I do not have the stature to reply to anything that Advani says," Singh said about Advani's letter. He said "Advani continues to be our leader, guardian and mentor. He has every right to be angry. I take cognizance of it and would try to address it. Where is the question of his isolation"?
When asked what exactly had disappointed Advani about his style of functioning, Rajnath said,"I am not aware of it".
The BJP president trashed suggestions that RSS had exerted pressure on the party leadership to declare Modi as its prime ministerial candidate. "In my long association with RSS, I have never seen it exert any pressure or issue any directive to BJP. I don't know where this notion stems from," he said.
Describing Modi as the "most popular politician in the country today", he said there was never any confusion over the party declaring him its prime ministerial challenger. "Now that we have formally declared him as our prime ministerial candidate, the country wants to know who is the prime ministerial nominee of the Congress," he said, adding the Congress-led government at the Centre had failed "on all fronts".
Meanwhile, sources maintained Advani is still upset over the decision.
RSS ideologue M.G. Vaidya defended Advani's right to dissent against the decision to make Modi the PM candidate even as he hailed the "democratic manner" in which the Gujarat Chief Minister was chosen by the Parliamentary Board.
Earlier in the day, the BJP chief exuded confidence that along with allies the party would be able to form the next government at the Centre. "We hope to get 272 plus seats in the 2014 elections. Give us 272 plus seats and we will form a government whose economic policies will restore India's pride globally," he said addressing a gathering after inaugurating the new building of Bombay Bullion Association at Zaveri Bazaar.
The BJP chief said all allies of his party who would contest the general elections together would participate in the next government if the alliance came to power.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Saturday showed 'no sympathy' for a sulking Advani and said, "Modi was the symptom of disease of communalism brought by Advani in national politics".
Congress general secretary in-charge for Haryana Shakeel Ahmed also said Modi will have no impact outside his state. He was asked about the Gujarat Chief Minister's rally in Rewari, Haryana, on Sunday.
"Every political party is free to hold rallies anywhere. It will have no impact. He had addressed rallies earlier also. We had seen what impact it had in Karnataka," Ahmed said.
Asked about the elevation of Modi brushing aside Advani's objections, Ahmed said, "We have no sympathy of Advani. It was he who had first injected the poison of communalism in Indian politics. Modi is a strong symptom of the disease of communalism brought by Advani in national politics."
Congress leader Anil Shastri in his series of tweets, however, slammed the 'self-seeking BJP leaders' for 'using' and then 'humiliating' Advani. Apparently seeking to drive a wedge in the Opposition party, Shastri, who is a special invitee in the Congress Working Committee, said "poor Advaniji ! What a downfall ! Self-seeking BJP leaders have taken over the party by humiliating a very senior leader." 

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