NEW DELHI: BJP Parliamentary Party chairman L K Advani has thrown his hat in the ring for 2014 by declaring he will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections.
“Have I ever said that I will not contest the next election? I will,” he said in an exclusive interview to The New Sunday Express.
Advani’s intentions may upset the apple cart of power equations in the BJP, as Gujarat CM Narendra Modi was earlier endorsed by Advani himself for the top job - that too, only last month in Chennai. However, when asked whether he is a prime ministerial candidate, Advani refused to give a straight answer. He said the party takes the call on who will be PM, and “such a decision will be taken again at an appropriate time.” Yet, he contradicted himself by saying, in 1995, he was the one who proposed Atal Bihari Vajpaye as prime minister “on his own.”
The BJP paterfamilias has been often annoyed by the question of who the BJP sees as the country’s leader if the NDA wins in 2014. He said, “I have answered this before, and now I find the question a tad unfair. It is made to appear that I am active in politics with only one objective, which is unfair, I think. In 2009, did I ask for it when the party made me its PM candidate?”
Perhaps, in spite of endorsing Modi as the party’s PM candidate, Advani may be feeling the prize that has eluded him so far may be in his grasp at last. Ambiguity seems to be Advani’s latest strategy. He said he was happy with opinion polls projecting Modi as PM. “I said whenever a younger family member achieves something big, that surpasses the elders’ achievements in the family, it makes the elders in the family proud. So, that’s how things are.”
However, he has also been blogging about the leadership skills of Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari.
Perhaps, now, Advani feels the time is ripe for him to join the exalted pantheon seize his own destiny this time.