Mumbai: Key ally and NDA member Shiv Sena today termed senior BJP leader L K Advani's decision to quit all party posts as "painful".
"(Sena president) Uddhav Thackeray has said that the contribution of Advani and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in building the party was invaluable for both BJP and the NDA," Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said.
"One cannot think of NDA or the BJP without Advani-ji," Raut quoted Uddhav as saying.
The Sena president had said that "we all will try to persuade Advani (to withdraw his resignation)", Raut said.
"Mr Advani is one of the tallest leaders in the NDA and the Bharatiya Janata Party. His guidance is of utmost importance to the NDA. It (his resignation) is certainly a cause of concern. And we would definitely want the BJP to address the issue," Sena leader Rahul Narvekar said, when asked how the resignation would impact BJP and NDA.
"Advani is certainly a guiding force. Whether he is a Bhishma Pitamah or something else I am not aware. For us honourable Advaniji is a very very senior leader whose guidance is valued and we would like to have that in future as well," Narvekar added.
Interestingly, the editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' today welcomed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's elevation as head of the BJP's election campaign committee.
"The average age of Advani and his other colleagues in the party is 85 years. The 85-year-old leadership cannot bring the BJP to power in Delhi. Therefore, if a new tactic is being launched by pushing Modi forward, it should be welcomed," the editorial said.
It also noted that if there were squabbles in the wake of Modi's elevation, they should be laid to rest.