‘Perfectly sums up true essence of BJP,’ tweets PM Modi on LK Advani blog
Prime Minister Narendra Modi promptly responded to a blog by LK Advani which had underlined how the BJP patriarch always put the country and party ahead of his personal interests.
“Advani Ji perfectly sums up the true essence of BJP, most notably the guiding Mantra of ‘Nation First, Party Next, Self Last.’ Proud to be a BJP Karyakarta and proud that greats like LK Advani Ji have strengthened it,” said PM Modi in a tweet. He also shared a link to the former Deputy Prime Minister’s blog post.
Advani, who exited the race to return to Lok Sabha, had on Thursday picked up the pen after a gap of five years to share his thoughts on the nature of political discourse. The 91-year-old leader had stressed that the essence of Indian democracy was respect for diversity and freedom of expression.
“Right from its inception, the BJP has never regarded those who disagree with us politically as our ‘enemies’, but only as our adversaries,” Advani wrote ahead of the BJP’s foundation day on April 6.
“Similarly, in our conception of Indian nationalism, we have never regarded those who disagree with us politically as ‘anti-national’,” Advani wrote.
The comment assumes significance against the backdrop of a raging debate over the issue of nationalism, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government saying the Opposition leaders who raise questions over the Balakot air strike are working against the country’s interests.
Advani’s blog was immediately lauded by politicians such as Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had once been part of the NDA.
“As the senior-most politician, former Dy PM and founding father of BJP, the views Advaniji has expressed about extending democratic courtesies, is significant. Of course, all Opposition leaders who raise their voices are not anti-national. We welcome his statement & “convey our humble regards,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle.
Advani, who had been part of a defunct Margdarshak Mandal set up by PM Modi to accommodate the party’s three most-senior leaders, has had to bow out of the electoral race after a decision by the BJP not to field party veterans older than 75. BJP president Amit Shah is contesting from Gandhinagar, the seat that Advani recalled in his blog, had sent him to Lok Sabha six times.
“I take this opportunity to convey my most sincere gratitude to the people of Gandhinagar, who have elected me to the Lok Sabha six times since 1991. Their love and support has always overwhelmed me,” Advani wrote in the blog post, the first time that he was commenting on the BJP’s decision.