Advani blog splits NDA, Yeddy fumes, BJP silent
While Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray called it demoralising, the JD(U) appeared to be divided with one section backing the BJP veteran.
New Delhi: Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani on Tuesday came in the line of fire over his blog wherein he talked about the possibility of a non-Congress and non-BJP Prime Minister after the 2014 general elections.
While long-time ally Bal Thackeray hit out at him terming his blog as demoralising, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, who has been a close aide of Advani, also expressed his displeasure over the blog.
Also, a prominent RSS ideologue voiced his disagreement with the blog saying it was premature to make a decision at this stage.
Though the BJP chose to remain quiet over the issue, key NDA constituent JD(U) spoke in different voices over Advani's opinion. While one section of the JD(U) appeared to be in agreement with the former deputy prime minister, another dismissed his viewpoint on the 2014 elections.
The most prominent and scathing criticism came from key ally Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. In an editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana', Thackeray hit out at the veteran leader terming his musings as demoralising.
While he asked the NDA to not lose heart before the Lok Sabha elections, Thackeray also questioned whether internal cracks have been frustrating the BJP.
"What is wrong with the BJP? Are they ill? Have internal internal fissures made the party frustrated? As usual it is their internal matter... but I cannot say, 'forget it'," he said.
He continued, "It is so because the question is not just of the BJP, but of the NDA's future and of unseating the Congress-led UPA. In this context, LK Advani's blog has put the BJP in confusion. Advani has announced that neither the BJP nor the Congress will have its PM candidate. The party readers would be demoralised. A lot of leaders now seem to use the blog to carry out their politics. We believe in battling it out on the field."
He added, "There is widespread frustration with the rule of the Congress and we believe that this will lead to its defeat in 2014."
Meanwhile, in what came as a surprise, former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, who has always been a close of aide of Advani, also snubbed the veteran leader, objecting to his reference of Karnataka in his blog.
Yeddyurappa's displeasure came in response to Advani mentioning in his blog that the "BJP is doing well despite bungling in Karnataka".
Expressing strong displeasure over the observation of the senior BJP leader, Yeddyurappa said that such blogs "demoralise the workers and the cadres".
Advani's prediction for the 2014 elections also saw difference surface in the JD(U) with its Rajya Sabha MP Shivanand Tiwari, who is known to be close to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, backing the BJP veteran, saying he "understands the pulse of the country's politics".
"Advaniji is a very senior person. He has contested many an election and toured the country extensively. He understands the pulse of the country's politics and the trends. He has written something on the basis of an objective analysis," Tiwari said.
Tiwari's comments came a day after after JD (U) chief and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav voiced his "complete disagreement" with Advani's prediction.
Yadav, who is not on the same page with Nitish on some issues, had said he "completely disagrees" with Advani's contention and maintained that UPA will lose the next elections "badly" and NDA will emerge as the largest alliance.
Another NDA constituent, the Shiromani Akali Dal, conceded that the assessment by Advani could damage the party. Expressing these views, Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, however, termed the observation as the personal view of Advani.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)