Advani’s forehand gets PM Modi’s crosscourt backhand

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday endorsed the views shared by BJP veteran LK Advani in his personal blog, saying that he is proud to be a “Karyakarta” of BJP which has been “strengthened by greats like Advani ji.”

Taking to Tweeter, Prime Minister Modi wrote: “Advani Ji perfectly sums up the true essence of BJP, most notably the guiding Mantra of ‘Nation First, Party Next, Self Last.’ Proud to be a BJP Karyakarta and proud that greats like LK Advani Ji have strengthened it.”

In a blog two days ahead of the BJP’s foundation day celebration, Advani on Thursday said that his party has never regarded its critics either as ‘enemies’ or ‘anti-nationals.’

Batting for freedom of expression in a democracy, Advani writes: “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.”

“The guiding principle of my life has been ‘Nation First, Party Next, and Self Last.’ And in all situations, I have tried to adhere to this principle and will continue to do so,” Advani writes in his blog.

“Similarly, 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,” he says.

Underlying the need for corruption-free polity and transparency in political funding, Advani writes: “Electoral reforms, with a special focus on transparency in political and electoral funding, which is so essential for a corruption-free polity, has been another priority for our party.”

Stating that the BJP is a party which stands with truth and supports democracy, Advani writes: “In short, 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.”

“The heroic struggle against the ‘Emergengy rule’ was precisely to uphold the above values,” he says.
Advani, also former Deputy Prime Minister, conveyed his sincere gratitude to the people of Gandhinagar, “who have elected me to the Lok Sabha six times since 1991. Their love and support have always overwhelmed me.”

The current BJP leadership created a team of Mardarshak Mandal after coming to power at the Centre in 2014 under the dynamic leadership of current Prime Minister Narendra Modi, dropped Advani from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha. BJP chief Amit Shah himself is in the fray from Gandhinagar seat.

Referring to his association with the RSS, BJP’s parental organisation, Advani writes: “Serving the motherland has been my passion and my mission ever since I joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at the age of 14.”

“My political life has been inseparably associated with my party for nearly seven decades – first with the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, and later with the Bharatiya Janata Party and I have been a founding member of both. It has been my rare privilege to work closely with stalwarts like Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and many other great, inspiring and selfless leaders,” he said.

“Defense of democracy and democratic traditions, both within the party and in the larger national setting, has been the proud hallmark of the BJP. Therefore, BJP has always been in the forefront of demanding protection of independence, integrity, fairness, and robustness of all our democratic institutions, including the media.”

Expressing deep gratitude towards the citizen of the country for supporting the BJP, Advani asserted that elections are a festival of democracy but they are also “an occasion for honest introspection by all the stakeholders in Indian democracy – political parties, mass media, authorities conducting the election process and, above all, the electorate”.

Talking about the BJP’s foundation day celebration on April 6, the BJP veteran said: “This is an important occasion for all of us in the BJP to look back, look ahead and look within.”