LK Advani quits all positions in BJP

L K AdvaniSenior BJP leader L K Advani today tendered his resignation from all party posts and vent his ire over the party's national executive discounting his years with the party while selecting Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to head the party's election campaign committee.

While Narendra Modi himself was a one time protégé of Advani, the veteran leader's resignation seems not just linked to Modi's elevation alone, he is more worried about his losing face in the party as decisions are taken elsewhere when he himself is available for consultations and decision-making.

Advani, 85, is one of the founder members of the BJP and is considered the party patriarch after ailing Atal Bihari Vajpayee who is now only a figurehead.

Advani, who skipped the three-day conclave of the BJP's national executive in Goa over the weekend citing health reasons, tendered his resignation from the party's parliamentary board, national executive and election committee.

In his resignation letter addressed to party president Rajnath Singh, who announced the appointment of Modi as chairman of the election campaign committee yesterday at the BJP national executive in Goa, Advani rued that the BJP was no longer the "same idealistic party" created by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Deendayal Upadhyaya, Nanaji Deshmukh and Vajpayee.

"For some time I have been finding it difficult to reconcile either with the current functioning of the party, or the direction in which it is going," he said.

"Most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas," Advani said in his one-page resignation letter.

"All my life I have found working for the Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party a matter of great pride and endless satisfaction for myself," Advani said in the letter.

He expressed his resentment over the way the party was being run by the current functionaries.

"I have decided, therefore, to resign from the three main fora of the party, namely, the national executive, the parliamentary board and the election committee. This may be regarded as my resignation letter," he said.

Advani's letter was delivered in person to Singh at 11 am after which the two leaders met at 12:30 pm.

Advani, who refused to meet Singh and Modi together, opted to discuss matters with Singh alone. And when the two met, Advani is reported to have expressed anger and resentment over Modi's elevation.

Singh is believed to have requested Advani to withdraw his resignation but the party veteran has stuck to his gun. Singh has yet not accepted the resignation and efforts are still on to make him withdraw it.

Advani, however, continues to be chairman of the BJP parliamentary party and working chairman of NDA.

Full text of Advani's letter:

Dear Shri Rajnath Singhji,

All my life I have found working for the Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party a matter of great pride and endless satisfaction to myself.

For some time I have been finding it difficult to reconcile either with the current functioning of the party, or the direction in which it is going. I no longer have the feeling that this is the same idealistic party created by Dr Mookerji, Deen Dayalji, Nanaji and Vajpayeeji whose sole concern was the country, and its people. Most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas.

I have decided, therefore, to resign from the three main fora of the party, namely, the National Executive, the Parliamentary Board, and the Election Committee. This may be regarded as my resignation letter.

Yours Sincerely

LK Advani