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BJP suffered second time with Advani's ambitions
In the past, the party tried to get benefit from Vajpayee's image and get some more seats. But this time, the entire party was put at the foot-steps of Advani and only to get acceptability for his leadership.
FOR THE second consecutive term, BJP suffered a major set-back in the Lok Sabha elections. Its Prime Ministerial candidate LK Advani’s power ambitions seem to be affected the party’s prospects for the second consecutive term.

In 2004 too, the party went to mid-term poll ignoring the advice given by the then Prime Minister AB Vajpayee due to pressure brought by Advani with the help of its the then close allay Telugu Desam Party chief N Chadnrababu Naidu. Advani felt that he can realise his life ambition of becoming Prime Minister by winning in 2004 polls taking advantage from `feel good factor’ generated by Vajpayee regime.

However, the electoral results proved costly to the party. This time, the party campaign moved only on single direction of projecting Advani as Prime Ministerial candidate. Since December 2007, by the time of Gujarat Assembly elections, the party took hasty steps to project Advani.

A senior party leader said that in the past, the party tried to get benefit from Vajpayee’s image and get some more seats. But this time, the entire party was put at the foot-steps of Advani and only to get acceptability for his leadership. The main drawback of Advani is that he could neither inspire potential allies, nor win additional votes for the party. Even for his own winning in the poles, he was at the mercy of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Advani never concentrated on strengthening the party and encouraging leaders with mass-base. In fact, he discouraged such leaders and created situation to leave the party. The case of Uma Bharathi, Kalyan Singh, Madan Lal Khurana and Shankar Singh Vaghela, proves that scenario.

Advani encouraged many leaders, who do not have any mass base, who boast themselves as national leaders by sitting in Delhi, only taking advantage from their clout with Advani. The way in which party general secretary Arun Jaitly tried to challenge the authority of party president Rajnath Singh shows the arrogance prevailed in Advani camp.

Advani’s style of functioning `dumping’ leaders from Delhi ignoring the aspirations of local leaders also proved party costly. It was demonstrated in the Rajasthan and Delhi election results, but the party high command failed to take any corrective steps. Even demand for a discussion on the reasons led to party defeat in crucial state like Uttar Pradesh was not admitted in the party Executive Committee meeting.

Such style of function may be suitable for single-leader parties, but not for BJP. It is high time for the party to take corrective steps, if it wants to realize its true picture and need for urgent introspection.

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