Give LK Advani a Chance

Some years back, a little known party, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), became a force to reckon with so much so that in 1999, it ousted the Congress party that had been single-handedly dominating the Indian political scene. It even became the first non-Congress government to last its full-term in office from 1999-2004.

Given the current political uncertainty surrounding the UPA-II and the constant media projections of early elections, it would only be opportune to evaluate how prepared is the BJP for the political battle ‘today’. What are the odds that if the general elections were to be held today, the BJP would come to back to power?

Here is a look at the key ingredients required for the BJP, infact for any party, to come back to power whether in 2014 or earlier than that.

First, comes the ideology. What is BJP’s ideology? For many people, BJP is still a pro-Hindu party despite its best efforts at shedding that image. This is one point that can work in favour as well against it. In favour because many Hindus, no matter how secular they may sound in public, secretly would want a pro-Hindu government at the centre. The same strategy could go against it because the minority sections of the society still find it hard to trust a party that openly supports Narendra Modi, a man widely considered to be tainted with the blood of hundreds of Muslims. Given the skewed ratio in favour of the Hindu population, overall this image could work in favour of the BJP.

Apart from the religious ideology, what does the BJP stand for? Many people would say that it is in opposition to whatever the UPA-II government stands for. And? There would not be much to fill the void. It is one thing to oppose whatever the incumbent government does, but another to give alternative solutions. BJP’s latest crusade against corruption is a case in point. No matter how hard it tries to piggy-back on Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement now, it was and will remain Anna’s movement. Moreover, most people know that in terms of corruption, almost all parties are equally culpable.

Another vital area required for winning an election is the presence of a strong leadership. So, who is the face of the BJP? Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitely, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari or the now-almost-forgotten LK Advani? Despite BJP’s best efforts to claim that the rationale for this indecisiveness is that unlike the Congress, theirs is a party where no one family dominates the leadership position, the people know that this is far from the truth. BJP does not have a problem of plenty as it is trying to project but, it has become a political army with too many wannabe generals and very few foot soldiers. Most of the top leaders want to be the ‘number one’ and only the ‘number one’. ‘Number two’ is not an option for them. On the lighter side, it would not be completely implausible to conjecture that perhaps many of these leaders joined a non-Congress party just for this reason, as in the Congress this is not an option that can be exercised without the mercy of the Gandhi family.

The current anti-Congress sentiment of the people at large is a golden opportunity that cannot and should not be frittered away in in-fighting. The time is ripe for the BJP to push for early elections.

So, what could be the possible solution to the current crisis the BJP is in? The answer lies in the grand old man, LK Advani, a man who has been sidelined by the BJP. The BJP strategists need to realize that nobody except for Advani can help them win the next elections. He may have lost the elections in 2009 but, he is still the best bet that the BJP can have. Perhaps, he is the only one who can unite the quarrelling brothers and sisters in the party. Even in the public eye, he is the most trusted man after AB Vajpayee – a man credited with the rise of the BJP in the first place.

Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitely, Nitin Gadkari and the like still have age by their side but, for Advani, this is his last chance. Perhaps he can win the next elections and give a befitting reply to Manmohan Singh’s jibe at him in the Parliament for being sour at having lost the prime ministership to him.

If the BJP misses the bus right now, it may have to contend with Rahul Gandhi in 2014. The Congress may project him as the candidate even if the elections are held early but, it is no secret that he is not yet ready. His party too is not yet ready. And, their allies too are not yet ready.

They say, a week is a long time in politics. The UPA has converted the India Inc. in its favour with just a week of reforms. It is anybody’s guess what it can do in one and a half years before the next general elections are scheduled to be held. Delays have dangerous ends, more so in politics. Weak parties wait for opportunities while the strong parties make opportunities. In this case, the opportunity has come knocking for the BJP. Would the party open the door? Or, will it keep the door shut till its quarrelling siblings call it a truce?

Knock! Knock! Is anybody listening?

Share This :

About the Author: Shobhika Puri

Related Post

21 Comments “Give LK Advani a Chance

  • Vivekanand P V, Haveri
    July 26, 2018 12:44 pm Reply

    Dear Shobhika,
    I wholeheartedly second your opinion. Let LK Advaniji be our next PM. Though i think most of my reasoning is well explained by you, here are my other bits.
    1. He is the one who is perhaps the only politician who talks to his people. We do not want a silent politician as PM any more.
    2. Advaniji’s commitment to the country is unquestioned.
    3. He is a man of taste. He belongs to that rare genre of politicians who were learned, had good taste in literature, interacted with the intelligentsia of the country. We are tired of busy politicians who only talk politics.
    4. BJP cannot lend itself to the factionalism. Good governance needs every one. That means, BJP should find a leader who is acceptable to all.
    5. We need an experienced man. Government is no lousy business.
    6. We need a politician who can be at ease with all states.
    BJP has talked a lot about good governance and about its dreams for the betterment of the motherland. If they believe in their dreams, it is the time to be proactive. Losing this opportunity can be lethal.

  • A Ashok, Hyderabad
    July 26, 2018 12:44 pm Reply

    I support the opinion expressed in the above article. Advani’s commitment to the nation, democratic principles is unquestioned. His handling of home ministry in the Vajpayee cabinet was exemplary and was excelled only by Sardar Patel. BJP deserves to make him the PM atleast for 2 years for his enormous contribution to Indian politics in general and BJP in particular.

  • Vivek, India
    July 26, 2018 12:45 pm Reply

    Agreed! Advaniji deserves to be the PM for atleast 2 years,if not more. Two more things I want to add. 1) He vowed not to enter into parliament campus till he was vindicated in the fictional hawala scam. 2) He could have raised his name in 1998 (just as Modi and others are doing right now), but he is a man of principle and never let his name come up for the highest post until Atalji himself left the active politics due to ill-health in 2005.

  • PR Venkatesh, Bangalore
    July 26, 2018 12:45 pm Reply

    I also support the opinion expressed in the article. His handling of home ministry is highly exemplary and dyanmic. He deserves to be the PRIME MINISTER but in present situation chances are remote.

  • Ashok, Agra
    July 26, 2018 12:46 pm Reply

    Yes, I fully agreed with ibid thought, Mr Advani shoud be given a chance to lead the India by example.

  • Brij, New York
    July 26, 2018 12:46 pm Reply

    As long we keep thinking giving chance to any one because of age and failed million attempts, we will lead country in the dark. Country has plenty of talent young and full of hope and energy let them earn the chance not just by giving the chance. All senior citizen need to be retired.

  • Sanjay, Chalisgaon
    July 26, 2018 12:47 pm Reply

    I disagree with your opinion.

  • Bolai Chandra Roy, Dhanbad, Jharkhand
    July 26, 2018 12:47 pm Reply

    My best wishes for India’s Prime Minister to Mr LK Advani because according to my openion he is the only fittest person for PM candidate at present situation. I am writing this from my heart.

  • David Dayal, Dubai
    July 26, 2018 12:48 pm Reply

    I’m a minority and have some apprehension about BJP ideology. But if BJP gets the mandate of all Indian people, the only person deserving to be the Prime Minister is Mr.L.K Advani. I sincerely hope that he is given a chance. Please see that this message is reached to BJP.

  • Anup Kumar Dutta, Guwahati, Assam
    July 26, 2018 12:48 pm Reply

    As per my opinion Mr. L.K.Advani is the actual person for Prime Minister at present situation as because he is a honest person.

  • Surinder Pal Bhaskar, New Delhi
    July 26, 2018 12:49 pm Reply

    Why Advani is now not suitable for PM post? Firstly, he is a spent force. Secondly, non-secular due to demolition of Babri Masjid incident. Thirdly, supporting terrorist in Kandahar case. Fourthly, pro- Jinha. Last but not the least he lacks international exposure and not a grass root level leader. In fact, in BJP Mr. Arun Jaitely is the most ideal candidate because he is young energetic, well read, experienced politician now. Gud luk to him. He is non-controversial leader in BJP.

  • SC Goyal, Faridabad
    July 26, 2018 12:49 pm Reply

    If you think Advaniji is not a grass root level leader in BJP then you do not know the meaning of the words. Do you know how many elections he had won and from how many states? It was he who brought the BJP to a level that it could unseat the well trenched Congress in the centre in 1998 and 1999. Put the BJP.

  • Dev Raz, Patna, Bihar
    July 26, 2018 12:50 pm Reply

    I think Narendra Modi is the best option among all the leaders, and Nitish Kumar is the worst.

  • Anand, Bangalore
    July 26, 2018 12:50 pm Reply

    As per me Mr. L. K. Advani is only leader in India (in present circumstances ) who should be Prime Minister of India. As far as BJP is concerned. Narendra Modi & Gadkari (panchayat level leader) can not stand tall in front of Mr Advani.

  • CAG, India
    July 26, 2018 12:51 pm Reply

    LK Advani is a loose canon … so you are always running a risk of he doing damage to you rather than your enemies. Examples: his speech on Jinha in Pakistan, his recent speech in parliament about Sonia Gandhi (for which he had to apologize), his recent speech advising BJP to create a secular image (when this time corruption will be an issue), etc. etc.

  • Ramesh Tailang, Ghaziabad
    July 26, 2018 12:51 pm Reply

    This is a new trend in Indian politics that hype about the PM/CM in wait is made before every parliament/legislature elections. Whereas every body knows, that after the elections are over, the major winning party elects its leader to act as PM or CM as the case may be. When there is a clear-cut constitutional provision for this, why this hype …. better avoid it to save senior leaders from future embarrassment and heart burn within the party.

  • Rajgopal, Trichy
    July 26, 2018 12:52 pm Reply

    He is the same iron man who disgraced our country by allowing the parliament attack when the parliament was in session. He should have quit politics if he had a iota of shame or self respect. Why is old man still clamouring for power? A national disgrace.

  • D.N.Makhija, Delhi
    July 26, 2018 12:52 pm Reply

    Modi is the best man certified by USA…UK…China…so he should be given chance as a PM but BJP is going to get less number of seats in the coming election as compare to the previous election. Now BJP is not a second choice…Now people want some new political party.of……Kejriwals/ Anna/ Baba Ram Dev…..

  • Sanjay, Canada
    July 26, 2018 12:53 pm Reply

    Advani is power hungry, power greedy. He is old rusted iron and speak like two old tinsheets being rubbed against each other. Allow him to do all of us a service by dying quietly when his time comes. I think this rusting frame of old bones is going to crumble and crash soon.

  • HRS, Canada
    July 26, 2018 12:53 pm Reply

    U are 100% right.

  • PM Krish, Chennai
    July 26, 2018 12:54 pm Reply

    I fully endorse the opinion of many that LK Advaniji should be given a chance to head the government in 2014 if BJP is elected by the people.

Leave a reply