New Delhi: The BJP celebrated its 35th foundation day at its party headquarters in Delhi today – but key founding member LK Advani was not invited to the event, said sources close to the veteran leader.
No message – not even a text – was sent to the 87-year-old, said the sources, who did not wish to be named, for the event in Delhi which was led by BJP chief Amit Shah.
This weekend, Mr Advani refused the BJP president’s request to address an important annual conclave held in Bengaluru. His speech at the conference has been a party tradition for 35 years.
Mr Advani tried unsuccessfully to persuade his party against picking Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate ahead of last year’s national election. Barely two months later, he was removed, along with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Murli Manohar Joshi, from the BJP’s top decision-making group, its parliamentary board. The veterans were transferred to what was derided by the opposition as a “retirement home” – the Margdarshak Mandal, a panel meant to provide guidance and mentoring.
The committee has not met once since it was announced; its members have been excluded from important decisions like allying with the PDP to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir, or choosing Kiran Bedi as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for the Delhi election, which the party went on to lose.