Home / Politics / Policy /  Advani relents on resignation after RSS intervention

While this may have ended a crisis in the BJP that started with the appointment of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the head of the election campaign committee for the 2014 general election, analysts say it also showed the veteran leader was losing command in the party he once controlled.

BJP president Rajnath Singh, even before he met Advani on Tuesday to placate him, had made it clear that the party’s decision regarding Modi would not be reversed.

“While the RSS (the BJP’s progenitor) has extended an olive branch to Advani, the fact remains that Modi, whose elevation was alleged to be at the centre of the controversy, did not even come to Delhi to placate Advani. And Advani’s mentee Arun Jaitley chose not to alter his overseas programme, (which) speaks about the falling clout of Advani," Mumbai-based political analyst Jai Mrug said. “His withdrawal of resignation in response to the olive branch is, therefore, more a pragmatic step on his behalf than a capitulation of the party."

It was pressure from the partners in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that forced the RSS to goad Advani into withdrawing his resignation, said political analyst N. Bhaskara Rao.

Sharad Yadav, president of the Janata Dal (United) has announced he was re-thinking his decision to continue in the NDA.

Rao said Advani may have been given the impression that Modi was only made the head of the BJP’s election campaign committee and a decision on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate was still open.

On Tuesday, various party leaders made a beeline at Advani’s residence, imploring him to withdraw his resignations.

“On behalf of the party, I assured Advani that his concerns about the functioning of the party would be properly addressed and I will discuss the modalities of addressing these concerns," Rajnath Singh told reporters at Advani’s residence.

RSS chief “Mohan Bhagwat spoke to Advani and asked him to respect the BJP parliamentary board decision and continue to guide the party in national interest", he said. “Advani has decided to accept Bhagwat’s advice."

Modi was quick to react after the crisis blew over.

“I had said yesterday that Advani will not disappoint lakhs of karyakartas (party workers). Today, I wholeheartedly welcome his decision," he said in a message on Twitter.

In Gujarat, Modi appears to have started discharging his new duties. On Tuesday, he called upon farmers from all across the country to participate in building a statue of Sardar Patel in southern Gujarat, about a kilometre away from the Sardar Sarovar Dam, overlooking Narmada river.

Analysts expect the move to help further build Modi’s image as a leader of the masses, bridging the caste and religion barriers.

“Sardar Patel, also a farmer, was instrumental in bringing farmers into the freedom struggle. I urge farmers from every village of India to donate iron from their farms to build the tallest memorial in the world. I want iron that is used in the farming and not new tools. It could be a spade," Modi said to a packed audience. The seminar was attended by farmers from 20 states.

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