Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) patriarch Lal Krishna Advani submitted his resignation letter from all party posts, including the BJP Parliamentary Board, Election Committee and National Executive, to party chief Rajnath Singh on Monday.
The veteran BJP leader's move came just a day after Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was anointed as BJP's poll panel chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections at the national executive meet in Goa. Advani was reportedly opposed to Modi's elevation at the meet. Despite Advani's objections, the party announced Modi's new role during the last day of the meet.
According to reports, Advani's close aide Deepak Chopra called on Rajnatth Singh to inform him about Advani's decision to resign. Rajnath reportedly rushed to Advani's house to dissuade him from putting down his papers.
However, Advani was said to be adamant and sent his resignation letter to the party president.
Here is the full text of Advani's resignation letter.
Dear Shri Rajnath Singhji,
All my life I have found working for the Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party a matter of great pride and endless satisfaction to myself.
For some time I have been finding it difficult to reconcile either with the current functioning of the party, or the direction in which it is going. I no longer have the feeling that this is the same idealistic party created by Dr Mookerji, Deen Dayalji, Nanaji and Vajpayeeji whose sole concern wants the country, and its people. Most leaders of ours are now concerned just with their personal agendas.
I have decided, therefore, to resign from the three main fora of the party, namely, the National Executive, the Parliamentary Board, and the Election Committee. This may be regarded as my resignation letter.
He will now remain only as the active chairman of the NDA. The resignation of Advani has stunned the party leaders and Rajnath has rejected the resign letter. "I have not accepted Shri Advani ji's resignation," party chief Rajnath Singh tweeted.
BJP leaders Balbir Punj, Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Ananth Kumar also met Advani after the 40-minute meeting between the party patriarch and Rajnath Singh. Sushma Swaraj, who has set out to meet Advani, told CNN IBN, "I am surprised he never shared it with us. But I'm sure we will convince him".
Meanwhile, the Janata Dal United (JD (U)) party has said that they would decide on the future course of action following Advani's resignation.
"Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Advani were the ones behind the creation of the NDA and our understanding was with them. This has shocked us the most. If Advani is not functional it's a very serious matter for us. JD(U)'s decision will come very soon," said JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, according to news channels.
The party, which is against projecting Narendra Modi as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, has already mentioned that they would soon discuss about Modi's elevation as the head of the 2014 poll committee. Earlier, JD (U) termed the elevation of Modi as the internal matter of the BJP.