HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Advani hints BJP can’t easily beat Congress

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 09, 2013
First Published: 18:17 IST(9/3/2013) | Last Updated: 07:59 IST(10/3/2013)

Senior BJP leader LK Advani again expressed disillusionment over his own party — when the BJP is getting prepared for the 2014 polls — by saying that although “the mood of the people was against the Congress, they are simultaneously disillusioned” with even his party.

“People used to admire us for the ethos of discipline... However, contrary to this aspiration, the image of the BJP that has gained ground in the past few years, is that of a party with differences,” he said.

The remarks made in an interview with The Week magazine come when senior BJP leaders are trying to push for their nominees to figure in the new team of office-bearers, to be announced by party chief Rajnath Singh around Holi on March 27.

Earlier, at the BJP national council on March 2 in New Delhi, Advani was very critical of the party under Nitin Gadkari.

He had made a similar statement last year at a conclave in Mumbai, saying the BJP had failed to respond to the public mood against corruption when Anna Hazare’s movement was at its peak. He followed it up with a blog article.

Party insiders quickly attributed the outbursts to Advani’s “frustration” with the top BJP leaders.

The “frustration” stems from their refusal to back his candidature for the prime minister's post in the face of strong opposition from the BJP's parent body, the RSS.

He was also upset with the strong cadre support for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. He even praised Sushma Swaraj, comparing her to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to shift the focus away from Modi.

On Saturday, Advani again equated Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan with Modi at a function in Shahdol in MP, saying they were "role models for development" when the Congress was mired in corruption.

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