BJP leader LK Advani to skip Narendra Modi’s big Oct 27 Bihar rally
Veteran BJP leader LK Advani, who shares a warm relationship with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar whose Janata Dal (United) or JD(U) ended a 17-year-long partnership with the saffron party this year, will skip the BJP’s rally in Patna on October 27.
The rally, to be held at Gandhi Maidan, would be the first public engagement of Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Kumar’s home turf.
“Advani ji will not be there on October 27 Hoonkar rally in Patna which will be addressed by party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi,” BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar, who is in Patna to review preparations for the rally, told reporters.
Besides Mr Modi, BJP President Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley will address the rally, Kumar added.
But he downplayed questions on Mr Advani’s absence from the rally, saying it was part of the BJP’s strategy and plan.
“All the top leaders (of BJP) cannot attend the 100 rallies the party has planned to hold across the country before 2014 parliamentary elections. Advani ji had attended the Bhopal rally and will participate in some more in future also,” said Kumar, who is also a member of the BJP Parliamentary Board.
Asked if Advani’s absence was owing to his personal relations with the Bihar chief minister, Mr Kumar said, “It is all speculation BJP is one and all the leaders are working towards a common goal of setting the country free of Congress.”
The 85-year-old Mr Advani had resisted Modi’s elevation first as the party’s campaign committee chief and later as the prime ministerial candidate.
The JD(U) has openly spoken about its respect for the BJP patriarch, who was the architect of the tie-up between the two allies before the split in June.
During the recent National Integration Council meeting in Delhi, Kumar and Advani were seen greeting each other which set tongues wagging in political circles.