But he changed his mind when he was informed by a BJP MP about a demonstration against him and in support of Modi by a group led by party supporter Suhail Hindustani.
Advani then shot off a letter to Singh in which he wrote: “This afternoon when you had come to my residence to inform me about the parliamentary board meeting, I had said something about my anguish as also my disappointment over your style of functioning.”
He added: “I had told you that I will think whether I should share my thoughts with other board members or not. Now, I have decided that it is better that I do not attend today’s meeting.”
When Singh had left Advani’s home, he had hoped the octogenarian would attend the meet. But the party chief realised he now had to perform the “unpleasant” task of conveying to Advani that, whether he agreed or not, the BJP had to go ahead with Modi’s declaration, which was cleared by the RSS and sought by a number of BJP leaders.
Despite hectic parleys, Advani refused to listen to several party leaders and support Modi. He stuck to his line that nobody should be projected at all — at least not until the November polls in five states — even though he had advocated projecting a name for the PM’s post until last December when Gujarat handed a handsome mandate to Modi for a third time.