Advani’s resignation will affect NDA prospects, fear leaders

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) L.K. Advani’s resignation from major party posts Monday is likely to strike a blow to the BJP’s efforts to lead the NDA to victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as it has brought to the fore divisions in the party on the issue of leadership.

Advani’s resignation in a letter that conveyed his concern over “personal agendas” of most party leaders Monday created ripples in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and plunged it into serious crisis.

The resignation came a day after the BJP sought to invigorate its campaign for the Lok Sabha polls by appointing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as chief of its campaign panel and exposed divisions in the party.

The BJP was hoping to perform credibly in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, expand the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of crucial elections and create a winning momentum against the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

The opinion polls last month had predicted that the NDA was gaining ground and the party was keen to sustain the mood.

However, Advani’s resignation has created concern among NDA partners and come as a dampner for the BJP. Advani is the working chairman of the NDA.

The NDA is led by the BJP and has Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal as its major allies.

Rizwan Qaiser of the Department of History, Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi, said Advani’s resignation will weaken the BJP and the NDA.

He said Modi had proved to be “a polarising figure” even within the BJP.

“The NDA will be weakened by Advani’s resignation. Parties such as Janata Dal-United will think about their own future. BJP will also find it difficult to attract allies,” Qaiser told IANS.

BJP sources conceded that Advani’s resignation has the potential of affecting the party’s prospects and, by implication, those of the NDA.

They said Advani resignation would reinforce the impression about divisions in the top ranks of the BJP and that suggestions had been made that differences within the party should be kept away from public glare.

“The issue coming into public realm is not in the party’s interest. It would have been better if the matter had stayed in the party fora,” a party functionary told IANS.

NDA constituents JD-U, Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal Monday voiced apprehensions over Advani’s resignation. The JD-U said the resignation was not good for the health of the NDA. The party is also opposed to projection of Modi as the prime ministerial candidate of the NDA.

The BJP has faced constant criticism over not being able to put its act together as a credible alternative despite the UPA having been hit by a series of scandals.

Modi’s appointment as the 2014 poll panel chief was pushed by the party cadre and sections of its leadership, which felt that he was in a position to maximise the BJP’s gains in the 2014 polls.

Advani Monday resigned from his all his major positions in the BJP national executive, the parliamentary board and the election committee.

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