BJP in a quandary; Cong tries to pour oil into fire

LK Advani's decision to resign from all party positions has put the BJP in a dilemma over its poll strategy – whether to the stick to the tried and losing formula of the so-called party veterans or opt for Gujarat CM's political dynamism.

While LK Advani has the backing of NDA allies like Shiv Sena, the Janata Dal (United) et al, Narendra Modi has the backing of a majority of BJP leaders, including its president Rajnath Singh.

However, there are some leaders in the BJP who believe that the party needs a soft leader like Advani who will give weightage to seniority and be more accommodative than Modi who is more result-oriented.

Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who was reportedly Advani's choice to lead the election committee, meanwhile, said the party leadership would reason with him to take back his resignation.

Narendra Modi, who is in the midst of the current controversy, himself said he had a detailed conversation with Advani on phone. He said he has urged Advani to change his decision. ''I hope he will not disappoint lakhs of Karyakartas,'' Modi said in a tweet.

He also said he will accept any decision of the parliamentary board, adding, however, that he will not be able to attend the meeting himself.

''Spoke to Rajnath ji. In such a short time cannot reach the parliamentary board meeting but will stand by whatever decision the board takes,'' reports quoted Modi as saying.

Senior BJP leader V K Malhotra who along with Sushma Swraj and Anant Kumar met Advani today said the party wanted both Modi and Advani to campaign in the 2014 elections. He, however, said, it now looked like the party having to do with either of them.

While Advani seems to be adamant on his quitting all party positions, the BJP parliamentary board is meeting at 7 pm to make a final decision on his resignation letter.

Advani reportedly has the passive backing of leaders like Ananth Kumar and Sushma Swaraj and the veteran is unlikely to back out of his resignation move.

Advani, meanwhile, also got the backing of Congress leaders like Digvijay Singh and Janardhan Pujari, who felt Advani did not get his due from BJP. While they did not explain, the comments are intended to further vitiate the atmosphere while also trying to wean away some of BJP's allies in the NDA using the ploy of religious fundamentalism that Modibaiters attribute to him.