Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has said BJP patriarch L K Advani, who was accommodated in any manner in the new NDA regime, deserves to be President—a constitutional post that will fall vacant after three years—as it will be commensurate with his stature.
Gadkari, however, did not express his views on how Advani’s sulking contemporary Murli Manohar Joshi could be accommodated in the present dispensation.Advani was sidelined after a decision in the BJP that leaders above 75 years of age would not be inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
The decision had the RSS' backing. Advani, however, has expressed desire to hold a constitutional post that would keep him out of the government headed by Modi, with whom he is not on the best of terms.
It was widely speculated that Advani might get the only vacant constitutional post of Lok Sabha Speaker, but Sumitra Mahajan has recently been elected to it.
Gadkari’s statement is first from a BJP leader that perhaps espouses a slot for Advani to which he too would not be averse. The only hitch is that Advani will have to wait for President Pranab Mukherjee to complete his five-year term in July 2017.
Gadkari told a TV channel that offering Advani the Lok Sabha Speaker post would have been below his dignity, given that he was deputy prime minister during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime.
“Advaniji deserves to become the nation's President,” the news channel quoted Gadkari as saying in a press release issued to the media.