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LK Advani

Charismatic Lal Krishna Advani has been in active politics for over half a century. He began as Rajasthan state secretary in 1951 when Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerji founded the Jan Sangh, and has risen to become the Deputy Prime Minister of India.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2004 10:43 IST

Charismatic Lal Krishna Advani has been in active politics for over half a century. He began as Rajasthan state secretary in 1951 when Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerji founded the Jan Sangh, and has risen to become the Deputy Prime Minister of India.

Further down, at the time of partition, Advani was a RSS organiser in his hometown Karachi. In 1957 he came to Delhi and became secretary to the Jana Sangh parliamentary group. He was appointed the president of the Jana Sangh in 1973. He held that post until 1977 when he joined Moraraji Desai Cabinet as Information & Broadcasting Minister. Advani began his stint in Parliament when he became a Rajya Sabha member in 1970. Thereafter, in 1989 and in 1991 he was elected to the Lok Sabha.

Advani is credited with invigorating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the present-day avatar of the Jan Sangh. He was its general secretary at the time of its launch in 1980, and the president in 1986. In 1991 he donned the mantle of the Leader of Opposition. It was in this capacity that he created the saffron surge. His journey across the country in the early 1990s atop a motorised chariot christened as "Rath" projected him as topmost BJP leader. Advani swore by the movement for building of a temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya where a mosque already stood. And when the mosque was demolished in 6 December 1992, Advani was shot into fame and infamy. He was accused by critics of encouraging communal polarisation. The event anyhow marked a great leap for the BJP, which first challenged the Congress and then overshadowed it.

Advani was again elected the president of the BJP in 1993 and was in 1998 made it to the 12th Lok Sabha . He kept himself out of the first Vajpayee government due to a court case against him. In 1998, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee, his friend and colleague for 5 decades, became the Prime Minister, the courts had acquitted him. As expected, Advani got the number 2 slot of the Home Ministry in the new Government. The 1999 he was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in the snap polls and on 13 October resumed as the Union Cabinet Minister for the Home Affairs. Vajpayee openly recognised his position in the party by making him the Deputy Prime Minister of India on 1 July 2002.

Suave and soft-spoken, Advani is given to a modest life style. He has been a voracious readers since his days of film journalist with the RSS mouthpiece Organiser. Wife Kamala, daughter Pratibha, daughter-in-law Geetika and son Jayant make up his small, happy family.

FACTSHEEET

Date of Birth: November 08, 1929

Place of birth: Karachi (now in Pakistan)

Parents: KD Advani (father), Gyani Devi (mother)

Spouse: Kamla Advani

Children: Jayant Advani (son), Pratibha Advani (daughter)

Education: St Patrick's High School, Karachi; Law from Bombay University

Languages Known: English, Sindhi, Hindi

Interests: Reading, listening to music and watching films

Career Highlights

1967-70 Chairman, Metropolitan Council, Delhi

1970-72 President, Bharatiya Jana Sangh (B.J.S.), Delhi

1970-89 Member, Rajya Sabha (four terms)

1973-77 President, B.J.S.

1977 General-Secretary, Janata Party

1977-79 Union Cabinet Minister, Ministry of Information and
Broadcasting , Leader of the House, Rajya Sabha

1979-81 Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha

1980-86 General-Secretary, Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.)
Leader, B.J.P., Rajya Sabha

1986-91 President, B.J.P.

1989 Elected to 9th Lok Sabha

1989-91 and Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha
1991-93

1991 Re-elected to 10th Lok Sabha (2nd term)

1993-98 President, Bharatiya Janata Party

1998 Elected to 12th Lok Sabha (3rd term)

1998-99 Union Cabinet Minister, Home Affairs

1999 Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (4th term)

13 Oct. 1999- Union Cabinet Minister, Home Affairs
onwards

July 1, 2002 Deputy Prime Minister of India

First Published: Mar 20, 2004 17:00 IST