Advani quit when BJP secys overruled him

Himalayan News Service

New Delhi, June 8:

One reason that led LK Advani to unexpectedly resign as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president was a decision by party general secretaries not to release his Karachi address to the press despite his request.

Sources said Advani had directed that the speech he made at Karachi, in which he praised Pakistan’s founder leader Mohammed Ali Jinnah be distributed to the media in India. However, the party general secretaries, who had sensed the adverse reactions back home, declined to oblige. “A hurt Advani immediately decided to resign from his post,” said a source. Buoyed by the response to his message at Jinnah’s mausoleum at the weekend in which he praised the latter’s speech to the constituent assembly in 1947, Advani wanted the Indian media to publish on the following day excerpts from his speech. After sending the speech, one of his aides called up the BJP office to ensure that the copies were distributed.

But party general secretary Sushma Swaraj called back and asked the aide: “Is he going to contest elections there (Pakistan) or here (India)?” perhaps anticipating its fallout among Sangh Parivar hardliners.

Realising that his directions were not carried out by the party general secretaries, Advani decided to put in his papers. “He discussed his decision with his family and close friends and prepared his resignation letter in Karachi itself,” said the source. Other sources also pointed out that Advani wanted to discuss his decision with some of his close friends in the party who were in India. “That’s the reason he did not submit the resignation letter immediately after he returned,” the source explained.