Advani's selection as PM candidate ''a sensible decision'':RSS

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New Delhi, Dec 15 (UNI) After running down Mr L K Advani ever since he made his controversial remarks eulogising Jinnah, the RSS has again found the former Deputy Prime Minister a lucky mascot for the BJP and hailed the party's decision naming him as its Prime Ministerial candidate.

In a front page article on Mr Advani's nomination, ''Organiser'', the RSS mouthpiece, said it was ''natural'' that the Leader of the Opposition was chosen as the candidate for the top job of the country. The BJP had done a ''sensible thing'' by taking this unanimous decision. The NDA allies too had endorsed the decision instantaneously, it claimed.

The paper added that Mr Advani was ''lucky'' for the BJP as the party had won many electoral battles under his leadership.

The timing of his selection was excellent as the UPA was presently failing to settle its internal contradictions, Mr R Balashankar, the Editor wrote.

His followers looked upon him as the leader who would finally correct the aberrations in the secular party, the paper said.

Tracing Mr Advani's growth from the grass roots to the top slot of the party through hardwork, exceptional acumen, engaging in policy articulation, strategic planning and masterly grip over the organisation, the paper said Mr Advani was a ''tough minded optimist'' nurturing the party to centre stage as he charioted great ideological evolution in political campaigns. He offered an alternative approach, canvassed support for a new idea and pioneered a fresh debate that changed style and substance of Indian political formulations.

''He is both darling and a whipping boy of the media and no other contemporary politician had encountered and survived as much controversy as Mr Advani,'' the RSS mouth piece said said. He could get away with the storm he raised by because of his clear thinking, convincing logic and the big successes he achieved, it added.

The paper said the year-long speculations about reservations within the parivar on Mr Advani's leadership had to end and the Jinnah episode had eroded his authority. It saddened his admirers but did not diminish his clout. As Leader of Opposition, Mr Advani was the obvious choice and most suited to give credible challenge to the government and unite the party to gear up for a battle ahead.

''He enjoys the highest stature after Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the party and is its real builder. He has a vision, mission which boost him as the leader India awaits,'' the paper said.

The trouble between the RSS and Mr Advani started after RSS Chief K Sudarshan publicly asked both Mr Vajpayee and Mr Advani to retire from politics to make way for younger generation.

After getting trapped in the controversial ''Jinnah comments'' during his Pakistan visit, Mr Advani had retorted that the RSS, the ideological mentor of the BJP should not meddle in routine party matters.

Consequently, Mr Advani had to step down from the party as the BJP President ahead of completing his tenure to make way for senior party leader Rajnath Singh. Although his supporters were expecting an announcement on Mr Advani in the Bhopal National Executive itself, it could not come through with one section stoicly maintaining that the party could not announce its Prime Ministerial nominee because the party was functioning on the basis of ''collective leadership''.

The BJP Parliamentary Board ultimately announced its decision a day ahead of the first phase of Gujarat polls.


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