Advani says he has no wish to become PM

Many leaders greet him on 85th bday
Last Updated 08 November 2012, 19:47 IST

BJP patriarch L K Advani has said on Thursday that things he got from the party and the country made up for his unfulfilled ambitions of becoming the prime minister. He said that he has no ambition to become the prime minister.

He said this on his 85th birthday on Thursday, two days after the party entered into a major controversy as a section of its leaders wanted Nitin Gadkari to be ousted as president due to his dubious business dealings.  Advani, who skipped the core group meeting that reposed faith in Gadkari, is believed to support change of guard as he thinks that the party president should be clean if the BJP were to provide a contrast to the corruption hit the Congress.

"The party has given me so much all my life that when somebody says you have to become the prime minister, I say becoming prime minister is not more than what I have got from the party," Advani told reporters at his house where Gadkari among other leaders came to greet him.

His meeting with Gadkari lasted for 15 minutes.  Gadkari, however, left the house without interacting with media.

"The atmosphere was very cordial when Gadkari met Advani. Gadkari touched Advani’s feet and sought his blessings," Delhi BJP leader Vijay Jolly told reporters. He was present inside the house while the two were interacting.

Gadkari also met Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh, thanking them for supporting them during the critical core group meeting.

The fact that his meeting with Advani was more formal suggests that all wasn’t well between the leaders. 

Rajnath Singh, leaders of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley also wished him.

Swaraj said, "We wished him good health so that he could guide us in future”.

President Pranab Mukherjee had also sent flowers and wishes to Advani.

Russian envoy touches BJP leader’s feet

In a rare gesture, Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin on Thursday broke away from diplomatic protocol and touched the feet of BJP veteran L K Advani while visiting the leader to wish him on his 85th birthday.

Kadakin, an indophile, was one of the first visitors to reach Advani's residence this morning to greet him on his birthday.

Advani received him in the portico of his bungalow. Soon after alighting from his car, Kadakin presented Advani with a bouquet. He then bent down to touch Advani's feet to seek his blessings.

(Published 08 November 2012, 07:41 IST)

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