Those Who Disagree With BJP Are Not Anti-National: LK Advani Breaks Silence
The BJP veteran sent the party workers a message through his blog.
LK Advani, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran who has now been sidelined by the current leadership, sent a message to his party workers on Thursday, April 4 in a blog titled “Nation First, Party Next, Self Last”.
In what appears to be a veiled criticism of the party’s current policy of questioning the nationalism of all dissenters, Advani, one of the founding members of the party, wrote, “The essence of Indian democracy is respect for diversity and freedom of expression. Right from its inception, the BJP has never regarded those who disagree with us politically as our ‘enemies’, but only as our adversaries.”
He added, “in our conception of Indian nationalism, we have never regarded those who disagree with us politically as anti-national. The party has been committed to freedom of choice of every citizen at personal as well as political level.”
The party leader also spoke about the importance of internal democracy in the party. “The triad of Satya (truth), Rashtra Nishtha (dedication to the Nation) and Loktantra (democracy, both within and outside the Party) guided the struggle-filled evolution of my Party. The sum total of all these values constitutes Sanskritik Rashtravad (Cultural Nationalism) and Su-Raj (good governance), to which my Party has always remained wedded,” he wrote.
One of the people credited with the rise of the BJP, Advani was completely sidelined by the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah leadership when he was appointed to the party’s ‘Margdarshak Mandal’ — a symbolic post devoid of any major responsibilities.
Additionally, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Advani was benched completely when it was announced that party president Amit Shah would be contesting elections from the Gandhinagar seat, which Advani has won six times since 1991 including in the 2014 election.