27 February, 2021

Iron Age Ahoy?

An ailing Vajpayee may mean Advani's ascension—hiccups apart

Narendra Bisht
Iron Age Ahoy?
Has L.K. Advani indeed been anointed the BJP's Supreme Leader? Well, if you ask a certain section of the party. They see his 80th birthday celebrations on November 8, when the who's who of the BJP lined up at his residence, as a silent and universal ratification of Advani's eminence.

Guests came through the day in batches, enjoyed the chaat dishes on offer, and presented their gifts. In the evening, at a gathering billed as a Diwali milan, daughter and television presenter Pratibha Advani kept up the tradition of stringing together a thematic Chitrahaar-inspired collection of songs. This time guests sat through an hour-long film that was a combination of scenes and songs about the glory of Hanuman or Bajrang Bali. Certainly at the end of it all, the veteran's position in the party appeared to have been strengthened.

Yet there is an element of awkwardness about it all. There is the constant shadow of former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee. The 83-year old has been ailing. He's in a wheelchair, and there have been weeks when he has barely been...
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