New Delhi: The 36-hour crisis within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is over with LK Advani withdrawing his resignation following a Rashtriya Swayamseawak Sangh-brokered peace in the party. After meeting Advani on Tuesday evening, BJP President Rajnath Singh said that Advani's concerns about the party's functioning will be addressed even as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, another character in the high voltage drama, welcomed the move.
Addressing a press conference at Advani's residence Rajnath Singh claimed that the 85-year-old leader had agreed to abide by whatever decision the BJP takes and he will continue to guide the part as its senior-most leader.
In a major compromise by the BJP, the party agreed to Advani's demand not to have any official prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, said sources.
The prime ministerial candidate will be chosen with Advani's consent and the events as they played out in the selection of Modi as BJP Central Election Committee chief in Goa despite his absence will not be repeated, added sources.
"We had decided unanimously yesterday and rejected Advaniji's resignation letter in the Central Parliamentary Board meeting. Advaniji has decided that whatever party decides, he will abide by it. If there is any complaint or objection from Advaniji on the day-to-day functioning of the party, I as a party president will talk to him," said Rajnath.
Rajnath also said that Advani will accept the advice of RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat, but did not clarify if he (Advani) had withdrawn his resignation. Bhagwat had earlier spoken to Advani and told him to abide by the BJP Parliamentary Board decision.
Reading out a statement the BJP chief said that he had assured Advani that concerns about functioning of party will be addressed at a later stage.
Flanked by Uma Bharti, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath refused to take any questions and when he was repeatedly asked why Advani was not present if indeed a compromise had been reached, he merely said, "I myself told Advaniji that as this press conference has been called by us, he should not be attending the press conference. It is very unkind and against our culture."
Full text of Rajnath Singh's statement:
The BJP Parliamentary Board yesterday decided not to accept Shri LK Advani's resignation from the three main fora of the Party - The National Executive, Parliamentary Board and Election Committee and requested him to continue to be a member of these three Bodies.
On behalf of the Party Shri Rajnath Singh assured Shri Advani that his concerns about the functioning of the Party would be properly addressed and the President will discuss the modalities of addressing these concerns with Shri Advani.
Today afternoon, RSS Sarsanghchalak, Shri Mohan Bhagwat spoke to Shri Advani and asked him to respect the BJP Parliamentary Board decision and continue to guide the party in national interest. Shri Advani has decided to accept Shri Bhagwat's advice.