Mumbai: The war within the BJP is out in the open. A day after skipping the BJP national executive meet where a resolution was passed extending Nitin Gadkari's term as president, senior leader LK Advani is unlikely to attend Friday's rally. Advani is reportedly upset with party's state of affairs and former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.
The senior BJP leader will return to Delhi instead. Sources have told CNN-IBN that the 84-year-old leader is upset with the Yeddyurappa episode.
Advani's reluctance to attend the rally has once again revealed that the top leadership of the party in not united. The national executive meet had already been dogged by controversies even before top leaders got together in Mumbai.
In a show of strength vis-a-vis the party President, the Gujarat Chief Minister on Thursday had forced the resignation of his critic Sanjay Joshi from BJP national executive, as an apparent price for his participation in the meet.
Yeddyurappa has come out in support of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and said that he should be the party's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Showering praises on Modi for good governance, Yeddyurappa on Thursday said the ongoing party national executive at Mumbai should deliberate on promoting him as prime ministerial candidate, among other issues. "The national executive should deliberate on the issues rocking Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan and promote Modi as the prime ministerial candidate," Yeddyurappa said.
"According to a survey, Modi is the most popular leader of the country and the party must think on these lines and take decisions," said Yeddyurapa, who had recently pushed the first BJP government in the South into a crisis of survival.
"Modi is popular because he has done great work in Gujarat and made the state number one in the country," he said.
The Lingayat strongman, however, said Modi could not be compared to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and veteran BJP leader LK Advani.
Yeddyurappa was persuaded by his party top leaders including Gadkari and Arun Jaitely to participate in the executive which the state party strongman had said should discuss Karnataka party affairs also among other issues.