Has Babri shattered Advani's dream of being the next President of India?
27 years have gone by since BJP leader L K Advani rode the Ram Rath to Ayodhya. Today he stands before a court in Lucknow which is framing charges against him. In April the Supreme Court had told the CBI to frame charges against Advani and others. The big question now is will this case stand in his way of becoming the next President of India?
There were unverified reports that had suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had wanted Advani to be the choice for the President's post, the elections to which will be held in July. He is said to have told party workers that this would be his guru dakshina.
However with the case coming up, the chances of Advani as the next President of India are fading. When Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley was asked if the case would stand in the way of Advani's nomination, he brushed it off by saying, " the question is hypothetical."
The many BJP sources that we spoke with say nothing has been decided as yet. Advani is no doubt the first poster boy of Hindu politics in India. Will the party keep this in mind and grant him the post brushing aside the court case?
What is also important is that the first open suggestion to making him the President of India did not come from the BJP. It was West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banjerjee who had expressed her willingness to support his candidature if the BJP proposed his name. She had said he could be the consensus candidate.
For Advani to be nominated he will need the backing of both the BJP and the RSS. He has in the recent past tried to reach out when he spoke fondly about his association with the RSS. The big question is will Modi and the RSS propose his name. Only time will tell.