In 1st message after poll race exit, LK Advani says nation first, party next
Veteran BJP leader LK Advani on Thursday put out a blog post - his first in five years - to mark the BJP’s foundation day on April 6.
Advani, who has been the sitting MP from Gandhinagar since 1991, expressed his gratitude to the people of Gandhinagar for having “elected him to the Lok Sabha six times”. “Their love and support has always overwhelmed me,” he wrote.
Advani will not be contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The BJP has, instead, fielded party president Amit Shah from Gandhinagar.
In his blog addressing the BJP workers, Advani wrote that the foundation day of the party “is an important occasion for all of us in the BJP to look back, look ahead and look within.”
He wrote that the “defence of democracy and democratic traditions” both within the party and in the larger national setting, “has been the hallmark of the BJP”.
“BJP has always been in the forefront of demanding protection of independence, integrity, fairness and robustness of all our democratic institutions, including the media. Electoral reforms, with special focus on transparency in political and electoral funding, which is so essential for a corruption-free polity, has been another priority for our Party,” he wrote.
Referring to elections as the “festival of democracy”, he wrote that elections are “are also an occasion for honest introspection by all the stakeholders in Indian democracy - political parties, mass media, authorities conducting the election process and, above all, the electorate.”
He wrote that the essence of Indian democracy was respect for diversity and freedom of expression and that the BJP had never regarded those who disagreed with it politically as “enemies”, but only as our adversaries.
“Similarly, in our conception of Indian nationalism, we have never regarded those who disagree with us politically as “anti-national”. The party has been committed to freedom of choice of every citizen at personal as well as political level,” he wrote.
Sharing his reflections, Advani wrote that serving the Motherland had been his passion and his mission ever since he joined the RSS at the age of 14.
He said that the guiding principle of his life has been “Nation First, Party Next, Self last” and that he had tried to adhere to the principle throughout his life.