PM Narendra Modi had greeted LK Advani, saying his efforts “contributed richly” to the building of BJP.

New Delhi:  Lal Krishna Advani’s 90th birthday has brought felicitations from across the board to the BJP veteran. It also brought a little barb from senior opposition leader Lalu Yadav — for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr Yadav’s tweet this morning read: “Warm Birthday greetings to Advani Ji! Never mind if any disciple turns hostile. May God bless you more cheerful, healthy, long & successful life ahead!”

The reference was to what has been seen as the slow distancing and eventual clash between Mr Advani and his one-time protege, PM Modi.

The architect of the BJP surge in the ’90s and the Deputy Prime Minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government, Mr Advani was seen to have been shunted aside as the party leadership passed onto a new generation — PM Modi and his right-hand man Amit Shah. In 2013, Mr Advani had led a bitter and eventually unsuccessful campaign to stop the BJP from picking Mr Modi as its presumptive prime minister.

After the party’s sweep in the 2014 general elections, Mr Advani, along with veterans Yashwant Sinha and Murli Manohar Joshi, were named the party’s “margdarshak mandal”, meaning the guiding lights.
But the opposition Congress has regularly alleged that none of their advice has been taken by the government.

The most recent instance of this, the party said, was last month, when Mr Sinha had blamed the current downturn in the economy on the demonetisation and the implementation of the flagship Goods and Services Tax.

PM Modi had countered the criticism, saying a “handful of people” were trying to spread a contagion of pessimism, and his party accused Mr Sinha of speaking from “frustration”.

The Congress, hailing Mr Sinha’s criticism, had again accused the BJP of disregarding its veteran leaders.

Today, the Prime Minister greeted Mr Advani, saying in a series of tweets that his efforts have contributed richly to the building of the party.
 

 

Mr Advani, he said, is a political stalwart who distinguished himself through hard work and dedication towards the nation.



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