Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani met his guru Swami Ram Teerth of the Udupi Pejavar math here on Monday and reportedly expressed his desire to retire from politics.
The guru told him not to take a decision in haste and stay on to guide the younger generation.
The Swami told reporters after the meeting, “There were no formal talks regarding this. He (Advani) says that he has aged and wants to stay away from politics. But I suggested that since he is a senior in politics he must continue advising the young generation, leaders and politicians.”
“I met him to seek his blessings on the occasion of Vijay Dashami and I am happy about the meeting,” said Advani.
The BJP was quick to distance itself from any political connotations of the meeting.
Party’s spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said: “One should not relate politics with Advaniji’s visit to Swamiji.”
This comes close on the heels of many speculations about Advani’s future role in the party.
After the Lok Sabha defeat of the BJP, Advani had reportedly wished to step down, but was allegedly asked by the RSS to stay Leader of the Opposition till things stabilised in the party. But Sushma Swaraj had said soon after that Advani would continue to be Leader of Opposition.
Later, RSS chief Mohan Rao Bhagwat suggested that it was Advani’s decision to remain in active politics, and that it was up to the BJP to decide when a new leadership would take over.
There were oblique attacks on Advani and his close associates by BJP leaders like Jaswant Singh, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha after the Lok Sabha debacle.
After his expulsion from the BJP over his Jinnah book, Singh made his attacks on Advani more direct.
Recently, Manohar Parrikar also came in the eye of the storm for suggesting that the Advani era had ended.