After the controversial remark from former Goa CM Mohan Parrikar likening veteran leader LK Advani to rancid pickle, there’s new light on his future this time — from a top leader who is rated a loyalist of Advani.
Former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu said: “Advani is not going to contest the next elections. We are not going to fight the next elections under his leadership.”
While Naidu made this remark in Karan Thapar’s Devil Advocate on CNN-IBN according to PTI, it added to the suspense within the party on the issue of future leadership of BJP.
Naidu was replying to a question on whether BJP would contest the next elections under Advani, who would be 87 years old in 2014.
Naidu said there was no deadline or pressure on Advani to quit. “Whenever he (Advani) wants to make way for others, it is his choice. Nobody has given him any deadline,” he said.
Asked who would be the next leader, Naidu said, “Political parties discuss issues and then come to conclusions according to the need of the hour and by consensus.
“When you lose an election that to for the second time, there will be certain amount of demoralisation, so we wanted him (Advani) to guide .... when he wants to choose a new leader, it will be announced by Advani.”
Naidu also said Advani was initially opposed to the expulsion of Jaswant Singh from the BJP for his book on M.A. Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. “Initially, he was opposed to expulsion. He said can we think of any other alternative (to expulsion).” But he held that the final decision was unanimous.
“Jaswant Singh’s book contains many objectionable references. Everybody in the meeting agreed action had to be taken and Advani, being a democratic person agreed.”