What Modi-fied Advani? Plenty of backroom manoeuvres

  • Shekhar Iyer, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Oct 18, 2013 15:37 IST

LK Advani may have, at last, signaled a big change in his equations with Narendra Modi, endorsing him as BJP prime minister candidate after opposing him for the last six months.

Advani’s action may seem “inevitable and quiet acquiescence” after his dissent failed to stop Modi’s elevation in the face of big support from within the BJP and the RSS.

But BJP insiders say the breaking of ice is significant in itself and has happened mainly due to two factors.

Firstly, Modi made sustained efforts to win Advani’s support despite initial setbacks. Modi did not let go a single opportunity to seek his mentor’s blessings and praise him since he was named for the top slot.

Secondly, key BJP and RSS leaders also persuaded Advani in this regard, appealing to his role as a patriarch.

Advani, apparently, could not “resist” these appeals to accord support for Modi, who has helped the BJP to top survey charts, raising the possibility of defeat of the Congress.

Advani is not a “calculative” political strategist, a BJP insider said. The 85-year-old leader was a “man of heart” who could not have resisted Modi’s appeals to “bless” him in the oust-Congress campaign,  he added.

Finally, on October 16, Advani and Modi came together after many months to inaugurate the Sabarmati river front garden.

There may still be issues between Advani and Modi. Advani may still want to contest from Gandhinagar again and not happy about the return of BS Yeddyurappa to BJP-fold in Karnataka. But Advani’s statement that he would be happy to see Modi as PM has changed the chemistry, a BJP official said.


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