BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said that senior BJP leader is not attending the party rally in Mumbai because of prior engagements and is not angry or upset, reports said.
BJP leader LK Advani at the party's national executive meeting in Mumbai. (HT Photo/Kunal Patil)
Earlier, reports said that Advani is unlikely to attend the party's public meeting, which will be organised soon after the national executive meeting on May 25, in Mumbai.
Advani is said to be distressed by the current state of affairs of the party and he is likely to cut short his visit to Mumbai and return to New Delhi.
He is upset over how his party handled the BS Yeddyurappa issue.
Reports said Advani is unhappy with the manner in which the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has insisted that Nitin Gadkari gets a second term as the party president.
The BJP patriarch feels his role was clipped by the RSS after the 2009 debacle. Advani's role has diminished since then and the RSS forced him to hand over the baton in Parliament to Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.
Advani feels he can do little to salvage the situation.
"Right from the days of the Jan Sangh," he tells his loyalists, "the final call was always with a senior-most person. Jan Sangh founder SP Mookherjee was the last word until his death. After him, it was Deendayal Upadhyay and then AB Vajpayee, who always consulted me."
Also, Advani is firm that, no matter what the RSS thinks, the BJP will have to project a face in the elections.
"People vote for a face as PM and then choose the party behind that face. We cannot win over voters without a credible face."