17 June, 2021

The Eternal Charioteer

The forever-in-waiting-PM announces a yatra to get back into political and party reckoning

Tribhuvan Tiwari
The Eternal Charioteer

Whatever happens to his proposed yatra, BJP ‘Loh Purush’ L.K. Advani managed to shift the focus within the saffron party, the RSS and the NDA, onto himself with his headline-grabbing announcement. The one-line statement at a press briefing in Parliament House on the monsoon session’s last day was simple but effective: “I have decided to embark on a yatra and I have spoken to the party president.” The 84-year-old leader had decided he needed to be back in the reckoning and what better vehicle than to get on his favourite rath, this time to fight corruption.

It was presented to the parivar as a fait accompli. Or, “In true Advani style,” as insiders put it. On that Thursday morning, Advani called BJP president Nitin Gadkari to his Prithiviraj Road residence and broke the news about the yatra. Taken by surprise, Gadkari offered to “discuss the idea with other senior party leaders and make a formal announcement later”. Party sources confirm that Advani told Gadkari that he would make the...

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