What made LK Advani get so upset about contesting from Gandhinagar that he wanted to shift to Bhopal before taking a U-turn in 24 hours?
Advani was supposedly miffed that the BJP did not announce his name in the first list on February 27. Secondly, it was claimed that he had reasons to believe that BJP PM nominee Narendra Modi was working to strike out his candidature.
Worse, he thought Modi would get him defeated even if he got the ticket.
Also, it was asked why Advani should not have the privilege of contesting from two seats like Modi. So were the versions touted out in the media by “sources close to Advani”.
But did Advani score any big political point by this episode? None whatsoever, insist the BJP leaders who are upset that the focus had turned away from the BJP’s feel-good factor to its internal problems. They say Advani exposed himself to the wrath of cadres who see a pattern in his “tantrums” since last June when Modi made it to the centre stage.
The Gujarat BJP had made it clear a day ago that Advani’s name had been recommended again from Gandhinagar, while the MP unit, contrary to reports, did not similarly recommended his name as claimed by his camp.
Senior BJP leaders did make a beeline to his residence to “placate” him, largely to prevent his followers from aggravating the matter. Even they privately expressed that it was difficult to “swallow” the “disgust” at his camp followers’ attempts to play spoilers.
But, BJP insiders say they cannot help but conclude that beneath the “grouse” of Advani, the tale of his “unresolved” grievance over Modi replacing him as the BJP’s PM candidate still remains a festering issue.
Those against Modi, however, still hope for a post-poll situation where Advani can reclaim what is his “due”.