Senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani has said that India could very well see a return to coalition governments in the future. In a TV interview, Advani also came out in support for a Bharat Ratna for former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee and recalled his decades-long relationship with his mentor.
“Though if he is given Bharat Ratna, as I have myself suggested once, it would be very appropriate and befitting for a patriot like Vajpayee,” Advani said, amid speculation that the government is considering the award for the former PM.
In an interview with TV channel CNN-IBN, Advani said a “diverse” country like India, one could not rule out any political eventuality. “I still believe that a country as diverse and variegated as India may throw another coalition government again…In case a country like India you should be prepared for all eventualities,” he said.
Shedding light on his relationship with Vajpayee, Advani said he was never in competition with Vajpayee for the PM’s job.
“Very often it is thought that I conceded the space, it was his natural space. I always regarded him as my leader,” he said.
Advani and Vajpayee, both doyens of the BJP, led the party to national prominence in the 90s, with Advani doing much of the political legwork by taking out rath yatras, or roadshows.
It is thought that coalition allies, who saw Advani as hardline, preferred Vajpayee for PM.
“I in fact, have been saying now these days after these interviews that for me he (Vajpayee) was a role model,” Advani said. Advani said Vajpayee deserved the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, because of his overall impact on the life and politics of the country.