New Delhi: 12:45 pm: The BJP has hit out at the Congress accusing it of having vested interests and blaming the RSS for the Advani issue. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, "Some elements in the Congress have raised the RSS's name in the Advani issue. The RSS has no role in the issue. We will sort out the BJP issues soon and will come out as a stronger party."
11:42 am: BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Uma Bharti have also reached LK Advani's residence in a bid to placate him. Uma Bharti had met Sushma Swaraj before heading to Advani's residence.
11:30 am: BJP leader Jaswant Singh called on LK Advani a day after the party patriarch resigned from all positions in the party. Even as the top BJP leadership indicates it is business as usual for the party, many continued to make efforts to convince Advani to change his decision. BJP leaders Uma Bharti and Sushma Swaraj also held a meeting on the issue.
BJP President Rajnath Singh is going to Banswara in Rajasthan at the time of such a crisis, sources say, to send out the message that it is business as usual in the BJP. Among other key leaders, Arun Jaitley is going abroad and Narendra Modi is staying in Gujarat.
Sources in the BJP say Narendra Modi's elevation is ratified by the National Executive and individuals can't change it. Sources have told CNN-IBN that Rajnath has spoken to the RSS chief and urged him to speak to Advani.
Sources in the Advani camp have told CNN-IBN that the issue of discord is not just confined to Rajnath turning down Advani's demand for a separate election management committee. Advani aides claim the fundamental issue of discord now is how the BJP will be run. CNN-IBN has learned that the real reason is that Advani is upset with the troika of Rajnath and two RSS pointspersons in the party.
Advani blames partymen Suresh Soni and Ram Lal, aided by Rajnath Singh, for pushing Modi's case without a consensus. Interestingly RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat spoke to Advani a few days back when the National Executive was on. Bhagwat will meet Advani on June 18 in Delhi to discuss the ongoing controversy. However, Rajnath Singh has explained that the RSS has no hand in the decision to promote Narendra Modi as campaign committee chief.
On Tuesday, the RSS is expected to send its emissaries to persuade Advani. But with no commitment from his own party on either a separate election management panel or a curtailed role for Modi, Advani may well be fighting the last tough battle of his political career.
A day after the National Executive sent out a clear message with the elevation of Narendra Modi, LK Advani quit all posts in the party on Monday. In the one-page resignation, Advani said, "For some time I have been finding it difficult to reconcile either with the current functioning of the party, or the direction in which it is going. Most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas." Advani had skipped the three-day deliberations of the party in Goa over the weekend citing health reasons. This was the first time Advani had stayed away from the National Executive and the office bearers' meeting prior to it.
Advani said the BJP was no longer the "same idealistic party" created by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Deendayal Upadhyaya, Nanaji Deshmukh and Vajpayee. "All my life I have found working for the Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party a matter of great pride and endless satisfaction to myself," said Advani in his resignation letter.
"I have decided, therefore, to resign from the three main fora of the party, namely, the National Executive, the Parliamentary Board, and the Election Committee. This may be regarded as my resignation letter," the letter said.
Rajnath Singh rejected Advani's resignation and efforts have been on since Monday to try and pacify Advani to reconsider his resignation. "The Parliamentary board has adopted a resolution that Advani's resignation won't be accepted, he will continue to be our guide," BJP President Rajnath Singh said. From hailing Narendra Modi as the new hope to now looking for a face saver, the wheel has turned a full circle for Rajnath Singh and the party he presides over.
As the BJP struggled all through Monday to come to terms LK Advani's shocking resignation from all party positions, it seemed to be running out of options. "I have met him, I am hoping he will reconsider, after all he is our father figure," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The BJP Parliamentary board is clear that there is no question of reversing Modi's anointment as the campaign panel chief. But despite several rounds of meetings with senior BJP leaders, Advani has so far refused to budge.
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