New Delhi: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani on Monday resigned from all party posts just a day after party President Rajnath Singh made Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi the chief of Central Election Committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The resignation of Advani, who was reportedly sick and ignored by the party top leadership at the two-day National Executive meet in Goa, brings the split within the party out in the open. Advani's resignation has stunned the BJP leaders to silence, who are refusing to speak on the issue. BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu met Rajnath Singh a few minutes after Advani's resignation.
Advani sent his resignation letter to Rajnath Singh alleging that many BJP leaders are now "concerned just with their personal agendas".
"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.
The resignation letter was released to the media just a few minutes after Rajnath Singh left Advani's residence after a 40-minute long meeting with the party patriarch.
BJP MP Kirti Azad said, "We will go and ask Advaniji what happened, I am sure the party will go and speak to him."
Advani was conspicuous by his absence at the two-day BJP National Executive in Goa citing ill health. However, speculation was rife that he was upset with Narendra Modi's rise in the party.
Advani had on Sunday made a reference to a wounded Bhishma Pitamah lying on a bed of arrows in a scene in Mahabharata after Modi's elevation. The 83-year-old party stalwart, however, made no mention of the Gujarat Chief Minister in his blog or in a video address to a religious event in Jaipur.
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh had on Sunday said his heart goes out to Advani. "My heart goes out to Advani-ji. He brought the BJP from two to 182 in the Lok Sabha. But then the ungrateful BJP is a party with differences," tweeted Digvijaya.
Following is the full text of Advani's letter to Rajnath Singh:
Dear Shri Rajnath Singhji
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.
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. I no longer have the feeling that this is the same idealistic party created by Dr Mookerji, Deen Dayalji, Nanaji and Vajpayeeji whose sole concern was the country, and its people. Most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas.
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.
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