Advani defers meeting with Bhagwat

Despite the restraint shown by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in public, there seems to be some uneasiness within the set-up.

 Senior-most leader L K Advani on Wednesday postponed his meeting with Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on health grounds, while his adviser Sudheendra Kulkarni wrote an article attacking Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Rajnath Singh.

Advani on Tuesday met Modi for about an hour. Advani’s impending meeting with Bhagwat holds importance in view of the developments in the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Bhagwat had played a major role in coaxing Advani to withdraw his resignation from key party posts. Advani had resigned in protest against the party’s decision to appoint Modi poll panel chief.

Modi’s meeting with Advani on Tuesday is considered to be an important development in the wake of the exit of the Janata Dal-United from the NDA. Bhagwat seems to be helping the party leaders to evolve a consensus.

According to sources, the meeting between Advani and Bhagwat has been rescheduled for Thursday. Advani also cancelled all his appointments for the day.
However, the article by his adviser and close associate Sudheendra Kulkarni, posted on a website, has created a flutter in political circles for its harsh words against Modi and Rajnath Singh. Kulkarni, a former BJP ideologue, defended Advani and criticised his sidelining in the party.

Kulkarni called Rajnath Singh “foxy.” He said the BJP chief has “astrologically-induced delusions” of becoming the prime minister.

Kulkarni asserted that despite his age, Advani (85) still has a lot to contribute to the party and the country. He also justified Advani’s opposition to Modi.  “An autocrat (Modi) is sought to be enthroned, and a perfect democrat (Advani) is being marginalised and humiliated,” he wrote. Kulkarni also criticised the RSS for “weakening Advani thoughtlessly in 2005 after he called Jinnah secular. “ He can have his own opinion, who cares,” BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said.

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