Advani turns 83; President, PM wish him

L K Advani being presented his portrait by well-wishers on the occassion of his 83rd birthday in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI

While President Pratibha Patil sent flowers to him, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar wished him over phone.

Others who visited his residence on the occasion included BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar, Kalraj Mishra, Shahnawaz Hussain and actor-turned-politician Smriti Irani. INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala also called on the BJP leader to wish him personally.

There are indications, including from the RSS, that Advani may quit as Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha early next year once BJP gets a new president as the term of the incumbent Rajnath Singh expires in December this year.

Controversy over his continuance in positions of significance started after the debacle in the Lok Sabha polls in which he was projected as the prime ministerial candidate.

Though he offered to quit after the defeat, he was persuaded to continue as Leader of the Opposition but serious questions were raised once various party leaders raked up issues over the way the affairs of the BJP were being conducted.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had stepped in to make it clear that the party leadership should pass on to the younger generation.

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