Miffed Advani quits BJP top posts, Rajnath rejects resignation

Advani quit from the Parliamentary Board, National Executive, and Election Committee of the party.

NEW DELHI: A day after Narendra Modi was named the campaign chief of the party, BJP patriarch LK Advani today quit from all party posts.

Advani quit from the Parliamentary Board, National Executive, and Election Committee of the party.

Advani - once Modi's mentor - is believed to be miffed at the Gujarat strongman being made the party's face for 2014. The reason, many say, is that Advani hasn't yet shed his prime ministerial ambitions.

Advani's resignation has not been accepted by the party.

"I have not accepted Shri Advani ji's resignation," party chief Rajnath Singh said on Twitter.

In his letter to party president Rajnath Singh, Advani wrote: 'For some time I have been finding it difficult to reconcile either with the current functioning of the party or the direction in which the party is going. I no longer have the feeling that this is the same idealistic party created by Dr Mookerji, Pandit Deendayal ji, Nanaji and Vajpayee ji, whose sole concern was the country and its people. Most people are now concerned with just their personal agendas.'

He concluded the letter, saying: '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.'

There was no immediate comment from Modi.

Despite the endorsement of his party on Sunday, Modi's ambition of becoming prime minister will be hard to realise.

This is partly because he is such a polarising figure. Modi is popular among voters who are tired of what they consider to be incompetent and corrupt governments and see him as a no-nonsense administrator who can deliver growth and development, but he is viewed with deep suspicion by others, particularly the large Muslim minority.

Earlier, Advani skipped the BJP national executive meet in Goa, a first time in his entire political career.

His absence cast a shadow on Narendra Modi's prime ministerial aspirations.

Advani's decision to quit endorses his reluctance to endorse Modi's credentials and BJP's move to make Modi the face of the Lok Sabha polls.

The majority in the party - including LK Advani - had opposed the proposal, and Modi stayed on to rise to become the party's key leader. The leader said something similar was happening now, hinting that the party could back Modi's elevation for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls despite Advani's opposition.

After Advani quit all party posts Monday, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav described the development as a sad one which would adversely impact the National Democratic Alliance.

"It is sad... not good for NDA's health," Yadav told NDTV.

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