BJP veteran L K Advani was ready to attend the parliamentary board meeting in September 2013,.in which Narendra Modi was declared the party’s primeministerial candidate, but was stopped by people at his home, his former aide Vishwambhar Srivastava claimed on Friday.
Srivastava made this claim at the release of his book, ‘Advani Ke Saath 32 Saal’ (32 Years with Advani), a memoir of his three-decade-old association with the BJP stalwart.
The event was also attended by BJP MP Subramanian Swami and former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya. However, Advani’s office had on Thursday asserted that the book does not have his consent and has been published ag"It may be worthy to note that this book does not have the consent of L K Advani and has been published against his wishes,” said a statement made by Advani’s secretary Deepak Chopra and issued by the party.
Srivastava claimed he had showed the first manuscript of the book to Advani and also did some editing as suggested by him.
Replying to a question about Advani’s response to the likely announcement of Modi’s prime ministerial candidature, Srivastava said, "I can tell you this Advani ji was ready to attend the meeting in the BJP office and even had got into car, but some people at his home stopped him.”
The veteran leader, who was opposed to Modi’s elevation, had skipped that parliamentary board meeting.
That decision closed the relationship between Mr Advani and his former protege, who would go on to sweep the 2014 election with the biggest mandate in 30 years. Mr Advani was relegated to an advisory committee of mentors, the "marg-darshak mandal", lampooned by the opposition as a "retirement home" created by a party that has no respect or value for its seniors.
He had also rejected the proposal of some party leaders that his son Jayant should contest the Lok Sabha election from Gandhinagar constituency in Gujarat, the book claims.
Advani has been representing the seat for several terms. "Advani ji had said that he is strongly against nepotism,” Srivastava said.
Speaking at the event Swami said, "No one can object to this book. It presents a beautiful image of Advani ji. Advani ji himself did not say anything. Some of his aides must have said something.”
Praising Advani, Swami said he could have become Prime Minister but when time came he announced Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the party’s candidate for the top post.